Brazilian carrier Varig is replacing the capacity that it had stripped out over the last 18 months with lease deals for additional aircraft.

Varig has endured heavy fleet reductions in recent times as it suffered record losses, reducing its fleet to 44 from 89 four years ago.

The airline has leased two Boeing 737-300s from Bavaria Aircraft Leasing and two 767-300ERs, and is due to introduce three ex-Swiss International Airlines Boeing MD-11s this month. Meanwhile, two in-service MD-11s are being returned to lessor GE Capital Aviation Services.

Varig's dwindling domestic fleet has prevented it from operating its scheduled services in Brazil's northern region, flown by Embraer ERJ-145s that are due for retirement. Rico Linhas Aéreas will now provide some Amazon Basin services for Varig, the Manaus-based airline having recently taken delivery of two 737-200s leased from Varig.

Brazilian airline Vasp is reportedly negotiating the acquisition of up to eight ex-Olympic Airways 737-200 Advs. The S‹o Paulo-based airline's fleet includes some of the oldest 737-200s in service.

Source: Flight International