Passaredo restructures network as it drops turboprops

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GOL regional partner Passaredo has announced it is dropping three destinations in the state of Sao Paulo as it completes its transition to an all Embraer ERJ fleet.

The Ribeirao Preto-based carrier has confirmed that it has halted services to Presidente Prudente, Bauru and Marilia, coinciding with retiring its remaining Embraer EMB-120 turboprop aircraft.

Passaredo served the three destinations with multi-leg flights originating at Sao Paulo Guarulhos. In a statement the Brazilian regional carrier says the routes "are too short and do not produce enough traffic to serve them with a 50-seat jet".

Passengers booked on flights on these routes will be rerouted on flights operated by its new partner GOL, or offered a refund.

ATI reported last April that Passaredo was planning to replace its six EMB-120s with ERJ-145s. According to Flightglobal's ACAS aircraft database, Passaredo currently operates 11 50-seat ERJ-145 jets and one smaller ERJ-135.

Last December, Brazil's second largest airline GOL and Passaredo reached a commercial agreement under which GOL has started to sell Passaredo's flights through its own commercial channels. The new regional carrier partnership represented GOL's response to the growing regional reach developed by market leader TAM following its late 2009 acquisition of ATR 42 operator Pantanal and Azul's decision last year to add ATR 72 turboprops.

Azul has selected Presidente Prudente as one of its initial turboprop destinations after it begins operating ATR 72s next month. According to Innovata, Presidente Prudente and Bauru are currently served from Sao Paulo by Gol and Pantanal but Marilia is only served by Pantanal.