Brazil's Azul to launch Joinville service

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Brazilian low-cost carrier Azul has unveiled plans to add Joinville in the southern state of Santa Carina to its fast-growing network.

Azul in a statement today says it will launch on 18 October one daily flight from its Campinas base outside Sao Paulo to Joinville. The addition of Joinville gives Azul 25 domestic destinations.

According to Innovata, no carrier currently links Campinas with Joinville. But TAM and Gol each operate three daily flights to Joinville from Sao Paolo Congonhas while regional carrier TRIP operates two daily turboprop flights from Sao Paulo Guarulhos to Joinville.

Azul says yesterday it took delivery of two additional Embraer E-195s, giving it a fleet of 10 E-190s and 11 E-195s. The carrier, which launched services in late 2008 and ended last year with 14 aircraft, plans to end 2010 with 26 E-190/E-195s.

Azul has quickly grown to become the third largest carrier in Brazil after TAM and Gol. Based on July RPK data from Brazil's ANAC, Azul had a 6.3% share of the domestic market. Its RPKs were up 59.3% in July compared to the same month last year while total RPKs in Brazil's domestic market increased 18.5%.

Through the first seven months of the year, the Brazilian domestic market recorded a 26% increase in RPKs including a 123.9% increase at Azul.