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Azul Adds Airbus A330 Capacity To Portugal

The Brazilian carrier Azul Linhas Aereas will add capacity on its routes to Portugal later this year. By December, compared to August, the number of seats available will double, according to local reports. Where else is Azul flying its long-haul fleet? Let’s investigate further.

Azul is adding more capacity to Portugal using its Airbus A330 fleet. Photo: Airbus

More capacity to Portugal

Following Portugal’s decision to reopen its border to Brazilian travelers without quarantine requirements, Azul has decided to add new capacity to the country.

Azul will double the number of available seats to Portugal in December, compared to August, the local media outlet Aeroin reported.

Nevertheless, Azul is increasing its capacity to Portugal starting in October. Next month, the airline will have one daily flight between Campinas International Airport in Rio de Janeiro (VCP).

The airline recently said in a statement,

“The extra flights already in October are a quick response that we are giving to the increase in demand and sales of trips to Portugal since the relaxation of entry rules in the country. In the next two months, we will make occasional additions to the offer we already had, but, confident in the consolidation of demand and the maintenance of the current rules, we are planning a daily flight between our biggest hub and Lisbon in December. Portugal is an important destination for Azul and offers comfort to our clients, who boards from Campinas on a direct flight to Europe. We are excited about this beginning of the international resumption.”

Azul A330
Azul has 11 Airbus A330 aircraft in its fleet. Photo: Nicky Boogaard via Wikimedia Commons.

Where else is Azul using its A330s

Azul has 442 scheduled flights in October using its Airbus A330 fleet, according to Cirium’s database. It will offer 118,601 seats across five routes, of which only a couple will be international.

The Brazilian airline will operate its A330 fleet from Campinas International Airport. It will fly to Fort Lauderdale (US), Lisboa (Portugal), and the domestic destinations Fortaleza, Manaus, and Recife.

What’s impressive is that Azul is already scheduling more flights and having more capacity with the Airbus A330 than it did a couple of years ago.

According to Cirium, Azul has 39.7% more flights in October 2021 (compared to 2019) and 47.1% more seats.

Nevertheless, Azul still has to reactivate several routes it used to operate with the Airbus A330. For instance, the airline has to put the aircraft back on flights between Campinas-Oporto, Campinas-Orlando, and the routes Recife-Orlando, and Recife-Fort Lauderdale. Following the US decision to ease its travel restrictions, maybe Azul will restart these flights shortly.

Azul A320
Azul is already carrying more than 70% of its pre-pandemic passengers. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

How is Azul comparing to 2019 levels?

Azul has had the best recovery in Brazil so far. The airline is already carrying more than 70% of its passengers in 2019, while GOL and LATAM continue to struggle in the mid 50%.

Azul has benefited from a unique route map. The company is the only operator in approximately 80% of its routes.

In October 2021, Azul is scheduling 21,483 flights, according to Cirium. It will deploy 2.85 million seats across its destinations. Those two numbers are 19.5% and 10.7% below their pre-pandemic levels, respectively. Moreover, the summer season is just heating up in the Southern Hemisphere; therefore, we can expect Azul to finish the year strong, maybe even close to 100%.

According to ch-aviation, Azul has a fleet of 151 aircraft. Currently, only six are inactive, while the 145 remainings are flying throughout Azul’s several routes.

Have you been onboard Azul’s Airbus A330 fleet? How was your trip? Let us know in the comments.