Much cheaper airfare with Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos, the newest Brazilian company is impacting the market  

The resumption of national tourism began to show signs of activity with the new arrival of Itapemirim Transportes Aereos, which intends to make the cheapest and most affordable airline tickets for those who are not used to flying

The situation couldn't be more conducive to a fresh start: the Covid-19 pandemic still hovers over us all, but life doesn't stop there. And the economy follows the same path: the tourism market, seriously affected all over the world, is already showing signs of recovery gradually and with certain more defined objectives.

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While in some parts of the world we still see certain tourist restrictions, all aimed at greater control over the possible variants of the virus that appear in different parts of the planet, here the kick-off arrives in a totally unexpected way: the debut of a new national air transport: Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos LTDA or simply ITA, an airline belonging to the Itapemirim Group, whose main hub is the São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport.

This seems to be a novelty that promises to shake up the segment, although it is not necessarily something new. Historically, Itapemirim already operated in the 1990s a fleet of Boeing 7272s to transport cargo and others of Cessna Grand Caravan that operated charter flights between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The novelty of this new attempt by the company is the acquisition of South America Táxi Aéreo, a company related to ASTA Linhas Aéreas.

The company maintained activities in the sector until 2000, when the Department of Civil Aviation (now defunct DAC) canceled its flight permit. This situation lasted until July 2017, when the acquisition of Passaredo was announced. For two months there was shared management and the integration between the air and road networks reached 2,500 Brazilian cities. The transaction would eventually be undone, with Passaredo accusing Itapemirim of “not complying with the established agreement”.

In April 2021, the company made another attempt to return to the segment with an A320, prefix PS-SPJ, carrying out a series of test flights from Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo, passing through Belo Horizonte (Confins), Salvador, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro (Galeão). At the end of that month, the company was approved and had its Air Operator Certificate (COA) issued. The concession to explore public air transport came the following month.

Cheap airfares from the start of activities

Cheap airline tickets. Photo: Disclosure

THE Itapemirim Transportes Aereos had its first passenger flight on June 30 and, to attract the public, it started offering tickets from R$ 119 to the main national capitals. Thus, the company aims to offer 35 national destinations until 2022 and aims at the international market from 2023.

At tickets at popular prices can be purchased on the company's website (www.voeita.com.br). At first, tickets are available between capitals and major urban centers such as Brasília, São Paulo, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu and Maceió, among others.

According to some tourist information pages, the company will initially operate with the Airbus 320, but with a reduced number of seats (18 less than the original configuration) in order to offer passengers more distance between seats. Each flight will have 162 seats with each passenger having 79 to 107 centimeters of space between the rows of seats.

In addition, another differential announced by the company is the free baggage drop-off, exempt for up to 23 kilos in all fare classes, plus seat assignment at no additional charge. All this plus a differentiated in-flight service, promised from the moment it is possible within the current panorama of the pandemic.

Market impact 

cheap air tickets

Photo: Disclosure

The entry of another competitor ended up awakening the state of lethargy that the airline industry had been in since the beginning of the pandemic. The analyzes published by websites specialized in tourism indicate that the customer with lower purchasing power may be the most benefited from this little undeclared war.

After the official debut of ITA, in the second half of May, the price of tickets on the companies Azul, Gol and Latam dropped 28% in two months on the same routes that the new competitor aims to operate. Between June 15th and July 15th on four routes (namely, São Paulo-Rio de Janeiro; Porto Alegre-São Paulo; Brasília-São Paulo and Belo Horizonte-Porto Seguro) Gol reduced its price by 28% in three of the routes, while Azul cut the same in 17% also in three destinations; finally, Latam lowered 9% on only one of the four routes.

Experts such as Josian Chevallier, co-founder of the website Viajala, believe that these price drops show greater confidence on the part of travelers, which invariably leads to an increase in demand for travel, which would naturally cause the price of tickets to rise. So the most likely cause of this reaction can only be the arrival of the new airline.

Another factor that may have influenced the analysis of the current airfare scenario was the bankruptcy of Avianca Brasil during the first half of 2020, which would have reduced the availability of airfare service to just three national airlines, generating a drop in competitiveness and, consequently, an almost instantaneous increase in ticket prices. This break, a direct warning from IATA, the employer that brings together airlines from around the world, marked the beginning of the results of the pandemic through massive quarantines.

Inaugural flight: Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos 

Meanwhile, ITA promises to make a lot more noise than it did when the inaugural flight took place on July 29. Check-in at Terminal 2 in Guarulhos had a special number given to passengers who participated on the occasion, starting with the number 001.

The departure lounge was attended by executives from the company, the airport and authorities, who spoke with representatives of the press. The flight continued on to Brasília with seats with a table, a hanger and even USB-style sockets for passengers. The pandemic has not allowed in-flight service, but that has not stopped passengers from feeling the quality of transport.

Excited to travel in style? Prepare your travel diary, because the adventure is about to begin and there's no time to end!






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