Brazilian government looking into open skies with the EU open skies new development19/03/2015
The Brazilian Government is interested in moving forward with its negotiations over the “open skies” with the European Union. An agreement was almost reached in 2011, but Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff rejected two clauses and the negotiations came to a halt. Two years have passed since then and a conclusion has still not been reached.
After the liberalization of air traffic between Brazil and the United States in 2008, the number of passengers between the two countries rose 89.2% by 2013. Meanwhile, demand between Brazilian and European airports increased only 24% during the same period.
Germany, Holland, France and Spain are all countries where the number of existing flights to and from Brazil is close to the number of flights per week permitted by each bilateral agreement. The limits with these countries have not yet been broken due to two factors: demand from European tourists has dropped due to the economic crisis, and the airline companies Lufthansa and Air France have substituted the aircraft used on their routes to Brazil for other, larger planes, thus being able to offer more seats on the same number of flights.
Unless an agreement is reached that will end the restrictions on new flights, the Brazilian government risks encountering supply problems once the demand from Europe starts to increase once again.
Different to the offers made previously during the frustrated attempts to reach an agreement with the EU, Brazil is no longer demanding that gradual steps towards the opening of the skies be required. What the Brazilian authorities are continuing to insist upon, however, is that the current limit of 20% on the capital that European companies may hold in Brazilian airlines and the right to a form of ‘air freedom’ for Brazilian companies. This involves companies operating long-haul flights being permitted to make stopovers at European airports in order to pick up passengers before continuing.