The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today proposed new or expanded U.S. carrier rights from four U.S. cities--Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, and Charlotte--to Sao Paulo, Brazil. The proposed awards would go to American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways.
“New air services to Brazil will provide important benefits for thousands of Americans and for tourists coming to the U.S.,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We look forward to additional opportunities for U.S.-Brazil air service when full Open Skies takes effect in two years.”
If today’s proposal is made final, American Airlines would inaugurate the only daily nonstop service by a U.S. airline between Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, while Delta would add a second daily flight from Atlanta. In addition, the tentative decision would enable Delta Air Lines to continue its daily service from Detroit and US Airways to continue to operate a daily flight from Charlotte, N.C.
The additional flights are the result of a U.S.-Brazil agreement reached in March 2011. The agreement provided for a phase-in of new air service opportunities until October 2015, after which all restrictions on air routes, destinations and fares between the two countries will be lifted.
In its proposed decision, the Department said that American Airlines’ planned Los Angeles service would provide the only nonstop flights by a U.S. carrier to Sao Paulo from the west coast, while a second daily flight by Delta from its Atlanta hub would give connecting passengers from more than 150 cities an additional option for travel to Brazil.
DOT’s proposed decision also would enable Delta and US Airways to continue Sao Paulo service that they might otherwise have to give up due to arrangements with other airlines. Continuing Delta’s Detroit service and US Airways’ Charlotte flights would maintain valuable connections to Brazil from two important hub airports, the Department tentatively found.
Comments on the proposed decision are due in 10 days, and answers to comments seven days afterward. After the comment period, the Department will prepare a final decision. The proposed decision, airline proposals and public comments may be found at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0072.