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Brazil launches unprecedented program to increase international air connectivity

Brazil's delegation at Routes Americas 2024

Initiative also aims to improve the experience of foreign tourists at Brazilian airports

On the second day of 2024's Routes Americas, Brazil launched a pilot program to increase the number of seats and international flights to the country. The "International Tourism Acceleration Program (PATI)" is an unprecedented initiative that will be implemented through public-private partnerships with airlines and airports.


The program is being run by the Brazilian Agency for International Tourism Promotion (Embratur), responsible for the Visit Brasil brand, in collaboration with the Brazilian Ministry of Ports and Airports and the Ministry of Tourism. The funds are from the National Civil Aviation Fund (FNAC), and can be found at Embratur/Visit Brasil's hotsite.

In the first phase, on a pilot basis, the investment forecast is USD 660,000, according to the PATI public notice. Airlines and airports will be required to submit proposals for investments in promoting new flights and their respective tourist destinations, with actions such as advertising campaigns in the country of origin of the flights and promotional trips with journalists, digital influencers and foreign tour operators to the destination of the flights, among other options.

The selected proposals will receive funding from FNAC to help cover some of the costs of promoting these new air routes. It will be BRL 40.00 for each seat on a new flight that lands in Brazil during the period from October 27, 2024 to March 29, 2025. In return, the airlines will have to invest at least the same amount in promotional activities.

Similar promotion policies, implemented by countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland and Sweden, served as a reference for the production of PATI. "Achieving the growth targets for international tourism in Brazil is intrinsically linked to a market factor, which is air connectivity. There is no point in the growing international interest in getting to know Brazil if there are no direct flights or short connections at a competitive price. With this program, we have adapted the best international practices for attracting new flights to our reality," explains Marcelo Freixo, president of Embratur.

Introducing new flights

In order to apply for the funds, the company must demonstrate an increase in its air network, compared to the 2023/2024 season, and the funds will be linked to new seats. The public notice also establishes criteria that favor flights that take off from countries considered "strategic markets", because they have potential for growth in the number of flights to Brazil or because they are major international senders, even if they are not currently important to the country’s tourism industry. Flights from China to Brazil, for example, will only resume in May of this year.

As a way of inducing greater connectivity between a greater number of countries, with direct flights to different destinations in Brazil, proposals to create routes that take off from airports that don't have a direct flight to Brazil, or from countries that don't have a direct flight to a Brazilian airport, will also be scored higher for participation in PATI.

A higher weekly flight frequency is also rewarded with a higher score, as is the convenience of the arrival and departure times, with a preference for the 9am to 6pm interval, which is more appealing to tourists arriving in the country.

Finally, proposals that use more modern aircraft, which emit less carbon into the atmosphere, and companies that have signed agreements to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN's 2030 Agenda, with policies on sustainability and the environment, combating human trafficking, serving women, social inclusion and diversity, will be prioritized.