TAM Airlines plans to expand its hub at Brasilia International airport, as it prepares to expand its domestic network with new regional routes.
Located in the centre of the country, the airport is well situated as a domestic hub and presents opportunities for some international expansion as well, says Marco Antonio Bologna, president of TAM Holdings.
Expansion at Brasilia could include LATAM Airlines Group’s planned regional jet operations in Brazil. Bologna says that the group is considering ordering at least 20 Embraer E-Jets for new service to between 50 and 55 cities throughout the country.
Passenger capacity nearly doubled at the airport with the addition of the new eight-gate South Pier and a 21,000m2 expansion to the terminal in April. A new North Pier opened on 24 May.
In addition, with two runways the airport has ample space for additional aircraft movements, says Bologna.
Recief-Guarapes International airport could also emerge as a hub serving north-eastern Brazil, he says.
Expansion in both Brasilia and Recife would benefit from Brazil’s new regional development programme under the country’s Secretary of Aviation. This includes incentives and subsidies available to airlines for new regional flights, as well as R$7.3 billion ($3.26 billion) in investments in 270 airports throughout the country.
LATAM, which includes LAN and TAM, has its primary hub for the region at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International airport and operates additional hubs in Lima and Santiago, Chile.