BRAZILIAN AIRLINE VASP is to acquire ten Boeing 737-300s and a third new McDonnell Douglas MD-11 in a bid to become a major international airline. The Sao Paulo-based carrier will take delivery of two MD-11s later this year and the third, which it will lease from KLM, early next year. It already has some MD-11s in its fleet.

The MD-11s will be used on new routes from Sao Paulo to Athens, Barcelona, Toronto and Zurich and an extension of the present Sao Paulo-Seoul route to Beijing. The 737s, due for delivery over the next two years, will reinforce the airline's domestic fleet and be used on a new Sao-Paulo-Asuncion route.

VASP expects its revenues to exceed $1 billion this year and intends to grow its international business. The airline, controlled by the Canhedo Group, was privatised by the Sao Paulo State Government in 1990, and recently survived a troubled financial period by restructuring its debts.

The Brazilian carrier, part of a consortium which recently bought a 49% stake in defunct Ecuadorian airline Ecuatoriana, intends to re-activate the company in 1996 with a service from Quito to Paris via Recife, where it will connect with VASP's network, and another to New York. Ecuatoriana has one McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, which needs a D-check.

Source: Flight International