Government and companies must resolve the no-fly ban – 14/11/2023 – Maria Inês Dolci

Government and companies must resolve the no-fly ban – 14/11/2023 – Maria Inês Dolci

The Ministry of Ports and Airports called on airlines to address the high ticket prices, which have risen by more than 30% in the last two months. And Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) opened a procedure to verify whether or not there is a price combination between Latam and Gol, a case sent by the MPF (Federal Public Ministry). In this scenario, consumers continue to have great difficulty traveling by plane in a country with continental dimensions.

Until now, there are many arguments for the high ticket prices – appreciation of the dollar against the real, the cost of aviation kerosene, losses accumulated during the pandemic – and few practical actions to solve the flight exclusion.

In the past, companies claimed that they were obliged to provide free baggage check-in. Today, shipping them costs the customer, who also pays to reserve the seat when purchasing the airline ticket. There was also a substantial reduction in food service on board, and companies started selling drinks, perfumes and other items along the route.

None of this, however, made the tickets cheaper. In other countries, low-cost airlines offer almost no services, but flights are much more affordable for customers.

What has happened, until now, are transversal measures. Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) created a platform that aims to attract foreign companies to Brazil, the Fly2-Brazil hotsite. It may even attract some companies to the Brazilian market, with positive effects on supply and prices, but this will also depend on the regulatory environment and input costs.

The Voa Brasil Program, which is expected to offer cheaper flights for part of the Brazilian population, has not yet come to fruition. Even if, for some time, sections are sold for R$200, it will be a palliative, temporary solution that will not resolve the serious issues in this transport segment.

It is very important, therefore, that this meeting between the Minister of Ports and Airports, Silvio Costa Filho, and Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency), with Gol, Latam and Azul, responsible for almost all air passenger transport in Brazil, go beyond conversations.

If companies can prove the reasons for high prices, they should provide detailed cost sheets.

And that they clearly indicate how their eventual proposals to the government will positively impact air ticket prices. In other words, point out the average price reduction that would be obtained with such measures. Otherwise, most Brazilian consumers will continue to see planes from afar, without access to faster trips over short, medium and long distances.

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