Varig should soon win a bigger say in major Star Alliance decisions and see its role in administering the leading airline group increase, the alliance having asked the Brazilian carrier to supply a supply an executive to fill one of a choice of two important Star vice presidencies.
Speaking from New York, Varig president and chief executive officer Ozires Silva reveals that Star has asked the airline to choose whether it wants to have one of its executives fill the position of vice president of sales strategy or, alternatively, be appointed as vice president of network planning. Both are key strategy and planning roles within Star's global operations.
"It's one of my personal goals" for Varig to take a higher profile within Star, confides Silva. "I find Star a very successful organisation".
Varig's senior vice president commercial Roberto Massedo, accompanying Silva to New York, says that the Brazilian airline has seen "a very dramatic" increase in revenues wherever in the world it has entered codesharing and marketing cooperation with other Star Alliance carriers such as Lufthansa and United Airlines.
"So far we have no Varig man playing a direct role in management" of Star, says Silva. "I'd like Varig to play a more important role, with direct representation."
The decision by the alliance's management team to ask Varig to contribute high-level management talent now makes Silva's dream of joining the leading group of Star member carriers now seem not only possible, but highly likely.
Apart from Varig's large size and early entry into Star, another factor pushing its likely climb into the first rank of Star carriers is the fact that the Brazilian airline has nearly completed creating what effectively is a Star Alliance hub in the new Terminal 2 of Rio de Janeiro's Galeao International Airport.
With a few caveats, Silva says progress on creating the Star South American operational hub in the new terminal is progressing well, with other Star carriers such as United and Lufthansa already establishing their presences there.
Varig is now negotiating with rival Brazilian carrier Tam to move its Galeao operation from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 to free up more space for Star Alliance member airlines.