Jackson Flores / Rio de Janeiro

But as one Brazilian airline cuts workforce to reverse losses, another gives up the ghost after its debts hit $10m

Brazilian carrier Rio-Sul is targeting new markets, launching shuttle services and revamping aircraft cabins and schedules in a bid to improve its performance and address a $30 million loss in 2001. The airline will also cut 10% of its 2,200 workforce.

The measures to boost performance and load factors will include an aggressive marketing campaign which will involve using the airline's aircraft as billboards.

The airline is working to rationalise its fleet around a single type - the Boeing 737 - and recently completed the retirement of all its Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias. Some of its 15 Embraer ERJ-145s are expected to be transferred to regional arm Nordeste Linhas Aéreas this year, which already has three in service.

Three of the Brasilias have been handed to Brazilian start-up Ocean Air, a charter airline which has gained permits to fly scheduled regional services.

The airline has inherited some of Rio-Sul's Brasilia-operated routes, and will receive two more of the 33-seaters. Ocean aims to take on other services from Rio-Sulwhen the latter becomes an all-737operator.

Meanwhile, fellow Brazilian operator Passaredo Transportes Aéreos, which suspended flying in early April after accumulating debts of $10 million, has shut down due to its irrecoverable financial state.

The airline at one point boasted a fleet of two Airbus A310-300s, two ATR 42-300s and five Brasilias, serving a network of 20 destinations, but was unable to adjust to the loss of government subsidies that had been provided to regional airlines. By the time of its closure the airline had reduced its operation to four destinations served by two Brasilias.

Source: Flight International