Azul and Avianca Brazil have joined TAM in requesting approvals to operate additional flights during the World Cup tournament in mid-2014, and Brazil's second biggest carrier Gol might put forward a similar proposal.
Azul has applied to Brazilian authorities to operate 600 additional flights to 12 cities, says an airline spokesperson. "We expect that these extra flights will be approved by January 15," she adds.
TAM said late yesterday it had requested to operate 1,000 additional flights, of which 850 are on domestic routes, during June and July.
A spokesperson from Gol, which is Brazil's second biggest carrier after TAM, tells Flightglobal the airline is studying similar plans and expects to announce its decision this week.
Avianca Brazil, which has a smaller market share than the other three carriers, has applied to operate 430 additional flights.
Brazil is gearing up for a spike in passenger traffic during the World Cup tournament, with the country's government saying it could allow foreign carriers to operate on domestic routes to increase competition and to deter local carriers from charging unreasonable fares.
Domestic airlines have bristled at this suggestion, and both Azul and Avianca Brazil have in recent days announced that they would cap fares during the World Cup period.
Azul says fares will not go beyond 999 Brazilian reais ($424) for travel between 12 June and 13 July when purchased from its website. The capped fare applies to all of its 103 destinations.
Avianca Brazil announced a similar offer yesterday, also capping its fares at the same amount for all of its 22 destinations. The carrier says it will maintain this cap for heavy travel seasons during other times of the year, such as the Easter and Labour Day holidays.
Gol says it is studying similar caps on its airfares. LATAM Airlines Group, which TAM is a subsidiary for, says it has no such plans but adds that fares will be competitive and reasonable during the World Cup.