Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, Brazil’s third-largest airline said on Tuesday it will buy regional carrier TwoFlex for $30 million as it aims to expand its presence at Sao Paulo’s hotly disputed domestic airport. Two Flex holds departure and landing slots at the Congonhas airport (SBSP/CGH) in South America’s biggest city, where bigger rivals LATAM Airlines Group and Gol Linhas Aereas have long had an overwhelming presence. TwoFlex offers regular passenger and cargo service to 39 destinations in Brazil, of which only three regional destinations are currently being served by Azul. Its fleet is composed of 17 owned Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft.
“Over the past ten years, Azul has led the development of regional aviation in Brazil by serving more than 100 domestic destinations and bringing new service to more than 50. Our goal is to continue bringing critical air service to new and diverse parts of Brazil and TwoFlex will be the perfect way to reach these cities and communities. This acquisition will help Azul in giving these customers access to the largest domestic network in Latin America and further grow the Brazilian aviation market. TwoFlex’s cargo operation will also be a strategic addition to AzulCargo as we look to continuously invest in this logistics platform”, said John Rodgerson, Azul’s CEO.
“We have built a great feeder business over the past few years connecting smaller cities to large capitals throughout the country. I look forward to connecting our regional network to Azul’s domestic and international network” said Rui Aquino, CEO of TwoFlex.
Azul says it can use they can use the runway at Congonhas to fly its ATR 72-600 aircraft, carrying 70 passengers and providing a big boost in capacity at the crowded airport. Rodgerson said such a shift would require the National Civil Aviation Agency ANAC of Brazil approval. Congonhas is an especially busy airport due to its proximity to Sao Paulo’s business districts. Azul began making gradual inroads there last year, after getting several slots previously held by Avianca Brasil, which ended operations in May 2019.