Azul to launch Belem service

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Brazil's Azul plans to add Belem to its fast-growing network of domestic destinations.

Azul in a statement says Belem will be served from 3 November with one daily flight from Belo Horizonte's Confins airport.

Belem, which is located in northern Brazil, will be Azul's 27th destination and sixth added in a span of only nine weeks. Service to San Luis and Teresina was launched yesterday; Aracaju and Joinville will be added next month; and Sao Jose dos Campos and Belem will both be launched on 3 November.

While most of the carrier's destinations are served from Azul's base at Campinas outside Sao Paulo the carrier is increasingly adding non-hub flying. Azul CEO Pedro Janot says Belo Horizonte is developing into a mini-hub for Azul and the addition of Belem will give it six non-stop routes.

According to Innovata, no carrier currently operates non-stop flights between Belem and Belo Horizonte although TRIP offers a daily one-stop service using an Embraer E-170. A majority of routes launched by Azul do not have any direct competition as the carrier has focused on new point-to-point routes with its fleet of Embraer E-190s and E-195s.

Azul currently operates 11 E-195s and 10 E-190s and plans to take delivery of five more E-195s by the end of this year.