Brazil domestic traffic to grow by 10% in 2013

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Brazil's Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) expects Brazilian domestic traffic to grow up by 10% in 2013, up from 6.8% last year.

Speaking at a general aviation event in Rio de Janeiro, ANAC president Marcelo Guaranys says the decline of Brazil's air traffic growth rate has levelled out in the last few months. Airlines are expected to add more capacity, after several months of reducing available seats in the market.

Following a decade of steady fare reductions, domestic ticket prices were significantly increased during 2012 after the reduced capacity produced an annual nationwide load factor of 73%, the highest rate in the recent history of Brazilian aviation.

Guarany's comments mark a change in ANAC's position, after warning in previous years of mounting overcapacity in the domestic market. The elimination of Webjet, which was acquired by Gol and then closed down, has eliminated a major factor of downward pressure on fares in the market.

Brazil's aviation minister Wagner Bittencourt, speaking at the same event, said that improvements of the airport infrastructure would also help to eliminate infrastructure bottlenecks over the next few years.

In addition to major investments going on at the country's major airports and the improvement of the regional airport infrastructure, Bittencourt also expects the construction of "several new airports within 10 to 15 years".

"None of them will be built in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, but we are currently evaluating traffic forecasts and expansion potential at other major airports in the country", he said, citing Porto Alegre in Southern Brazil as one potential major city requiring a completely new airport.