US Airways Confirms Sao Paulo Route Plans

US Airways has finally confirmed the long-awaited introduction of its flights to Sao Paulo in Brazil.  The US major received the rights to serve the Brazilian city as part of a share swap with Delta Air Lines a couple of years ago but has been working on developing a sustainable schedule for only its second service into South America.

The airline will introduce a daily non-stop service to Sao Paulo from its base at Charlotte Douglas International Airport from May 5, 2013, complementing its existing flight to Rio de Janeiro from the US hub which was introduced in December 2009.  It will utilise a Boeing 767-200 on the new Sao Paulo route with seating for 18 passengers in Envoy, US Airways' international business class, and 186 in the main Economy cabin.

In the first nine months of this year O&D demand between USA and Brazil rose 11.3 per cent from to 3.36 million, up from 3.02 million passengers in the same period last year.  An estimated 3,300 O&D passengers flew between Charlotte Douglas and Rio de Janeiro, an existing US Airways market, during the nine month period, while 5,500 passengers flew between Charlotte Douglas and Sao Paulo despite no direct air services.

"US Airways' new service to South America's most important business market strengthens our international network and provides consumers throughout the United States and Brazil with a convenient new travel option," said Andrew Nocella, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Planning, US Airways.  "Brazil is important for US Airways, which has served Rio de Janeiro since 2009. Thanks to the support of the US Department of Transportation and key stakeholders, we are now able to expand our presence to the largest market in the country."

The Sao Paulo flight adds to US Airways' growing international operation at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Last month, the airline announced new service to London's Heathrow Airport and earlier in the year increased its frequency of service to Frankfurt, Germany for the busy summer travel season.

"With the addition of US Airways' new route to Sao Paulo, Charlotte now boasts two flights to the world's sixth-largest economy," said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.  "Through their ongoing expansion of overseas service, our Airport and US Airways continue to cement Charlotte's reputation as an international city where businesses want to locate and people want to live."

US Airways, along with its partner brands US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express, operates nearly 3,200 flights per day and serves more than 200 communities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America.   With its partner brands, the airline serves approximately 80 million passengers each year and operates hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix, and a focus city in Washington, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

In the table below we highlight the carrier’s largest network points by seat capacity (all published ‘US’ flights including partner services) during 2012 and how this compares with the last five years.  The data shows that US Airways’ network capacity witnessed a notable decline in 2009 but has seen marginal growth since. 

More importance has certainly been based on its three hubs and focus city of Washington with growing market share across all these locations, most notable at its largest hub of Charlotte Douglas International which has seen a 4.2 percentage point rise in capacity share.  Las Vegas shows the most notable decline in importance for US Airways among its top ten network points with McCarran International now accounting for just 1.1 per cent of network capacity, down from 4.4 per cent in 2007 when it was the carrier’s fifth largest network point.

SCHEDULED AIR CAPACITY FROM US AIRWAYS AND PARTNER CARRIERS OPERATING UNDER ‘US’ CODE (annual non-stop departures)

Rank

Destination

Seat Capacity

% Total 2012

% Total 2011

% Total 2010

% Total 2009

% Total 2008

% Total 2007

1

Charlotte Douglas (CLT)

22,512,894

21.0 %

20.2 %

20.0 %

18.4 %

17.5 %

16.8 %

2

Philadelphia (PHL)

13,901,481

13.0 %

12.9 %

13.0 %

12.6 %

12.1 %

12.1 %

3

Phoenix (PHX)

11,861,112

11.1 %

11.0 %

10.8 %

10.7 %

10.5 %

9.4 %

4

Washington (DCA)

5,967,810

5.6 %

5.0 %

5.2 %

5.1 %

5.1 %

5.2 %

5

New York (LGA)

2,711,030

2.5 %

3.4 %

3.4 %

3.7 %

3.6 %

3.6 %

6

Boston (BOS)

2,690,858

2.5 %

2.6 %

2.6 %

2.9 %

2.9 %

2.9 %

7

Orlando (MCO)

1,440,180

1.3 %

1.3 %

1.4 %

1.4 %

1.4 %

1.4 %

8

Pittsburgh (PIT)

1,313,438

1.2 %

1.3 %

1.3 %

1.4 %

1.8 %

2.8 %

9

Chicago (ORD)

1,177,187

1.1 %

1.0 %

1.0 %

1.1 %

1.1 %

1.0 %

10

Las Vegas (LAS)

1,129,067

1.1 %

1.5 %

1.6 %

3.0 %

4.1 %

4.4 %

TOTAL (Seat Capacity)

107,212,060

106,975,512

106,111,180

105,424,704

112,074,800

113,141,871

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