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Brazilian Domestic Fares Have Fallen 18.5% Due To COVID-19

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Worldwide, air fares have dropped to their lowest records due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. There has also been a drop in the prices in Brazil, as recorded by the Civil Aviation Authorities in this country (ANAC). But how much have the fares dropped? Let’s investigate further.

GOL and Azul Getty
The Brazilian domestic air fares are the cheapest in history. Photo: Getty Images.

We haven’t seen prices like this since… 2002?

The ANAC registers the evolution of the air fares since 2002. So far, 2020 is the cheapest year in the history books. According to ANAC, the average one-way domestic ticket in Brazil costs 342.33 reais, about $55.

Yesterday, we reported that the air fares in the US are the cheapest since 1995. The decline in the prices is correlated with the 87% decline in passenger numbers. As Jim Ogden, director of analytics firm Cirium, said, “the airlines were trying to entice whatever passengers they could during the period, and this trend is likely to continue.”

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The evolution of Azul’s fares?

Azul Linhas Aereas is a low-cost carrier that started flying in 2009. That year, its average fare had a cost of 283.03 reais. Since then, the fares for Azul hasn’t dropped to those historical levels. Instead, in 2020, the average fare for Azul is 409.83 reais, according to ANAC, above the domestic national average.

Between 2019 and 2020, the average domestic fare of Azul dropped 15.1%. But, why is Azul seemingly so expensive (especially if you compare it with GOL and LATAM, as you’ll see further down the article)?

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The main answer is that Azul has the most routes between the three leading domestic airlines in Brazil. It flies to specific underserved cities and will add more in the future with the launch of Azul Conecta. Instead, if you consider the 52 main domestic routes in Brazil, the average ticket of Azul has a cost of 303.99 reais, more than 100 reais less.

Average fare Brazil
The average domestic fare in Brazil has fallen by 18.6% in 2020. Photo: ANAC

How about GOL?

GOL Linhas Aereas is the largest airline in Brazil so far, by the number of passengers. According to ANAC, the average domestic ticket of GOL is 313.85 reais ($54.62). Meanwhile, the average price for a ticket in the 52 main routes in Brazil is 245.93 reais. For GOL, that is a 22.3% decline from the average fares of 2019. It is also the lowest price it has ever had since 2002.

And what about LATAM?

Finally, LATAM Brazil’s average fares in 2020 are 322.34 reais ($56.10) for every route and 252.75 reais for the main 52 Brazilian routes.

So, in the end, we’re seeing that Azul is the most expensive between the three leading airlines in Brazil. That is something that one couldn’t expect as Azul is the low-cost carrier in the country.

There are more explanations as to why this is happening. Azul has had the best recovery from the three airlines, so it may have more demand than LATAM and GOL. For instance, LATAM is in Chapter 11 reorganization, while GOL had to pay a $300 million loan in the third quarter.

Azul and TAM Getty
LATAM Brazil has the cheapest domestic flights; Azul is the most expensive. Photo: Getty Images.

How cheap is it to fly from Sao Paulo and Rio?

Now, let’s do a quick observation of the fares from the two main cities in Brazil: Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and between its two main airports, Guarulhos and Galeao.

The average fare between Guarulhos and Galeao is 260.84 reais ($45.33), a 16.9% drop from 2019. Azul’s average fare is 380.29 reais; GOL’s is 271.86 reais, and LATAM is 263.27 reais.

Between Brasilia and Guarulhos, the average fare is 293.96 reais ($51.33). Once again, Azul is the most expensive airline between the three, with an average cost of 290.35 reais. GOL’s average is 261.41 reais, and LATAM’s is 253.54 reais.

The average price ticket between Rio’s Galeao International Airport and Brasilia had a 56.6% spike between 2018 and 2019. Now, between 2019 and 2020, there’s a 36.8% decline in the price. The air fare is approximately 235.78 reais, which is not the lowest in history, as, in 2017, an average ticket between both cities had a cost of 222.62 reais.

Have you seen cheap flights in Brazil? Let us know in the comments.

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