Avianca joins Azul in capping World Cup air fares

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm •  Published: January 14, 2014
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Avianca Brasil has joined Azul in becoming the second Brazilian airline to promise to cap prices for the upcoming football World Cup, which opens June 12 in Sao Paulo.

Avianca said Tuesday it would match Azul and limit one-way fares to a maximum of 999 reals ($425).

Brazil's airline industry has come under pressure to control fares from the national government, which has threatened to intervene if price increases are seen as gouging customers.

The government has made similar threats against hotels, some of which have increased prices as much as five times.

Brazil's tourist agency Embratur has estimated between 500,000 and 600,000 foreign fans will visit Brazil with more than 3 million local tourists traveling to matches in 12 cities across the continent-size country.

"I think this promotion is going to attract more passengers," Avianca's chief executive officer, Jose Efromovich, said in Sao Paulo.

Despite the cap on prices, fans could still face long trips going through many airports that are old and outdated. Brazil is slightly larger than the continental United States, but smaller when Alaska and Hawaii are counted.

Later this week authorities are expected to authorize new domestic flights. Four Brazilian airlines have requests with the government to add 1,523 extra flights during the World Cup period. However, the added routes could put more pressure on the already crowded airports and related infrastructure.

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