New agreement likely to boost connections

Bonete Beach in Sao Paulo

An expanded flight agreement will soon see more connections – and tourist traffic – between the Middle East and Latin America.

A new agreement this summer has led to a total of 28 new passenger flights and 21 new freight flights between the UAE and Brazil each week, according to a news agency report quoting Sidney Alves Costa, head advisor at the Institutional Relations Secretariat at the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil.

The original treaty was for 14 connections. All of these are now managed by Emirates airline, which uses seven to run a daily flight between Dubai and São Paulo, the South American nation’s commercial capital and the 94th destination in the airline’s network.

The new allowances will take effect gradually. Eight of the mixed passenger and cargo flights can be launched immediately, with another eight next April, another six in October 2009 and the final six in April 2010.

Of the 21 new cargo flights, nine frequencies may be opened now, another nine next April, and the last three in April 2010. For these connections will be permitted a stopover en route, according to the official.

The renegotiation comes after Emirates airline launched its Brazil route with a 15-hour flight to Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport last October, and experts believe the new deal is testament to the success of the route.

The increased flight connections will also boost trade between the two countries. The UAE has in recent years made a concerted effort to boost trade relations with the emerging superpowers that are the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

No new route announcements have been made since the renegotiation, but airline officials are believed to be in the process of firming up route plans.

Among those present at the meeting were representatives of both governments, officials from the UAE’s civil aviation authorities and officials from Emirates and Etihad, the report said.