American Airlines adds Viracopos to Brazil Network

American Airlines will offer a three times weekly link between New York and Viracopos from December 1, 2014 and a daily link between Miami and Viracopos from December 2, 2014, subject to government approval, complementing its existing flights from both US destinations to Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport.

US major American Airlines has confirmed it will introduce flights to Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas, Brazil, from its hubs at Miami International Airport and New York John F Kennedy International Airport as part of a revised winter schedule which will also see the closure of some transatlantic routes on a seasonal basis.

The new flights to Viracopos will provide more options for customers travelling to and from the state of Sao Paulo, a market it already serve via its long-standing flights to Guarulhos International Airport. The carrier will offer a three times weekly link between New York and Viracopos from December 1, 2014 and a daily link between Miami and Viracopos from December 2, 2014, subject to government approval. Both routes will be operated with Boeing 767-300s retrofitted with American’s fully lie-flat seat Business Class product

This network change is thought to have been directly driven by the forthcoming launch of long-haul flights by Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras from Viracopos to Fort Lauderdale and New York as American will have to modify its existing schedule into Brazil to facilitate the new services due to the existing bilateral air service agreement between the two countries. This will mark American's 10th destination in Brazil, further strengthening the airline's position as the leading US carrier in the country.

To facilitate the Viracopos expansion American has confirmed it will suspend one of its existing daily frequencies between Miami and Sao Paulo Guarulhos, while the additional frequencies will be created by the suspension of select weekly frequencies between New York and Sao Paulo. The airline said the change will “better match capacity with customer demand”.

In a further change to its Brazilian network, American has revealed US Airways’ service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport to Sao Paulo will be discontinued from October 1, 2014, while by December 2014 all of its departures between Miami and Sao Paulo will be flown using the carrier’s new 777-300ERs. With this change, all flights to and from Sao Paulo from and to Dallas, New York and Miami will be flown by the new three-class airliners.

"American remains the leading US carrier to Brazil and this new service to Viracopos demonstrates our commitment to providing customers more opportunities to access our expanded network in Latin America," said Andrew Nocella, chief marketing officer, American Airlines. "These schedule adjustments strengthen our global network and solidify the foundation we have been building."

Beginning this winter, the airline will also make seasonal schedule adjustments on six of its transatlantic routes.  This will see the closure of New York – Dublin, Chicago – Dusseldorf and Philadelphia – Zurich flights from October 25, 2014; Chicago – Manchester from January 6, 2015; Philadelphia – Rome from February 5, 2015 and Philadelphia – Barcelona from March 5, 2015. These flights will all resume from dates in March April 2015. American will also split its operations to Milan Malpensa from January 6, 2015 to March 28, 2015 with four weekly frequencies from New York and three from Miami.

In our analysis, below, we look at the growing non-stop capacity on offer between Brazil and the US over the past five years and the largest operators in this market. Based on current published schedules for 2014, capacity has risen 60.7 per cent since 2009, an average annual rise of 12.1 per cent. American Airline has been the dominant carrier during this period boosting its own capacity by 94.2 per cent (115.2 per cent when you all include the US Airways network). This has helped increase its capacity share from 31.9 per cent in 2009 to 38.6 per cent in 2014 (43.0 per cent when you also add the US Airways operation).

Data provided by OAG