Posts Tagged ‘Galeao’

Olympics and FIFA World Cup Breathe New Life into Rio’s Downtown Airport

October 9, 2009

Rio AirportThe decision of the IOC to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has reinvigorated Rio’s status as the global face of Brazil. The city is neither the country’s capital (that would be Brasilia) nor its busiest airport (that would be Sao Paulo). Since 2003, traffic at Rio’s two airports, Galeao and Dantos Dumont, has grown from 10 million passengers to over 14 million. Until last year the downtown Santos Dumont airport was restricted to serving primarily just one route, Sao Paulo Congonhas. When permission was given for other ‘regional’ destinations to be served from downtown last year, airlines Azul and Webjet became present at the airport and passenger numbers rose over 30 percent.

Last year Galeao handled 2.2 million international passengers while Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos handled four times as many. According to OAG data for September Galeao has direct non-stop flights to just 14 international destinations, including five in Europe and four in North America. Now British Airways service to Galeao is non-stop (it used to stop in Sao Paulo until a year ago). TAM’s JFK service began last November while Continental’s Houston service began this August (having also previously stopped in Sao Paulo). In early December US Airways will begin daily non-stop flights from its Charlotte hub using a 767. A total of just 18 airlines currently serve Galeao, with US Airways making it 19 later this year.

With the incoming traffic expected to occur due to the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, it seems that Rio’s Galeao will finally live up to its potential to increase both domestic and international travel.