Joe McClain - Feb 8, 2021
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The gradual recovery of tourism in Brazil is visible to all travelers who visit the country’s airports. After the huge drop in the number of flights because of restrictive measures imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19, several airlines are operating in Brazil, whose flights have an equal or even higher demand than before the pandemic. Moreover, tourism industry data show an increase in jobs throughout 2020.

With 800 flights per day, Azul Linhas Aéreas already operates at 85% of its capacity. For this reason, the company signed an agreement to reduce its crew journeys in December 2020 to meet the growing demand. The agreement, which was signed in June 2020, was valid until December 2021 and even provided for a reduction in the wages of the aeronauts. Supported by the Federal Government with Interim Measures, mediating labor relations and helping to sort cash flow, the companies organized themselves swiftly. First, to survive the peak of the crisis; then, to return to work quickly. In October 2020, passenger demand for domestic flights increased by 31.3% compared to the previous month.

Positive Outlook for the Airlines

“We believe in Brazil’s recovery, which is why we are the quickest flying company in Latin America in 2020 and the second-fastest in the post-crisis recovery worldwide. And always meeting the highest standards of health safety. Tourism in Brazil is the most important vector in the recovery, and we will continue to grow to connect the country more and more,” Fabio Campos said, Vice-President of Azul. Between October and November, the company recovered 77% of its operations from the same period of 2019.

GOL Linhas Aéreas and Latam also had better figures, with 53.2% and 48.3%, respectively, than they had in the previous year. The figures are from FlightRadar24 and state that Brazil is the leading country in the recovery of aviation in the region.

In January 2021, the Confins International Airport, in Belo Horizonte, operated at approximately 80% of its pre-pandemic capacity, with flights to 37 destinations, a number close to the 45 destinations made available before COVID-19. There are also airports with more demand than they had in the same period of 2019, such as Recife Airport. This one, on October 12, operated at 100% of its capacity.

Tourism Generated New Jobs

Despite being one of the sectors most affected by the new coronavirus, tourism in Brazil generated more than 21.500 jobs in 2020. The data were released by the Novo Caged (New General Register of Employees and Unemployed), part of the Ministry of Economy. The figure is equivalent to about 15% of the 142.600 jobs that were generated last year in the different segments of the Brazilian economy. In most of the regions, accommodation and food activities are the industries hiring the most.

The Ministry of Tourism implemented several actions during 2020 to protect jobs and businesses in the sector. Among them, R$5 billion in credit lines for the affected establishments, the creation of an interim measure regulating the cancellation and rescheduling of tourist packages and cultural events, and the distribution of R$3 billion to states, municipalities and the Federal District, to be allocated to emergency actions in Culture, during the state of calamity caused by the new coronavirus.

One of the victims of the current restrictions is the popular Rio de Janeiro carnival that should take place in mid-February. Local companies hope that at least the Rock in Rio 2021 will be held in October as well as the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Christ the Redeemer. The authorities, however, are not able to confirm anything since it depends on the further development of the health situation.

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