Azul Airlines expands in Brazil

Not all airlines are shuttering services or laying off staff. Azul Airlines, Brazil's newest airline, will add more planes and increase the number of destinations this year.



Azul Airlines will double its destinations to 10 by April 2009 and have a total of 11 planes in June, up from the current 7.

David Neeleman, former JetBlue CEO and founder of Azul Airlines, says the company will find success in Brazil even in these difficult financial times. From the start of operations in December 2008, passenger numbers for Azul Airlines have increased to 45,000 in January 2009, from 11,000, and are expected to grow quickly.

Further low fuel prices are hoped to keep air fares low and stimulate further demand for air travel in Brazil this year. Azul Airlines primarily competes with the state airline Varig and private airline TAM. There's also the low cost airline GOL, which is a direct competitor to Azul Airlines.

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