With Linhas Aéreas Itapemirim Brazil gets a new regional airline. She wants to start already next year and do things differently.
Rodrigo Villaça does not have a problem that plagues many airline founders. The CEO of Viação Itapemirim has already raised capital. The Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund wants to invest 500 million dollars in his project of a new regional airline in Brazil.
Villaça runs the oldest bus company in Brazil. Viação Itapemirim decided to launch its own airline, Linhas Aéreas Itapemirim, at the beginning of the year to complement its road service. The corona crisis, which is raging particularly violently in the largest South American country, has not changed this. According to Itapemirim, the airline will be launched in the first half of 2021.
There is already a model aircraft
But the project has changed. At first, Itapemirim planned to use turboprop aircraft. In the meantime, the new airline wants to use 100 to 140 seater instead of 80 to 100 seaters, as airline CEO Tiago Senna recently told the local press. Senna is considering Airbus A319, Boeing 737-700 or Embraer E190 and E195.
However, the starting fleet of ten aircraft will only be a temporary solution. In three years, the CEO wants to switch to Airbus A220. He has already had a model of the former Bombardier C-Series built in the airline’s future colors.
A real business class
While there was still talk of a low-cost airline at the first presentation in February, Itapemirim now targets more business travellers who are prepared to pay higher fares. In this way, the airline also wants to fill a gap left by defunct Avianca Brasil. The new airline wants to offer travellers a lot. They will not use the maximum capacity, but offer a true business class in addition to an economy class. Apart from a good service, there will also be free alcoholic beverages.
To avoid a price war, Itapemirim wants to serve routes that are not yet offered or underserved. The airline is planning to start with a fleet of ten jets. In five years it wants to grow to a fleet of 50 aircraft.
Previously in aviation
The company already has experience in aviation. In 1991, it launched Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos, a cargo airline that also carried passengers for a short time. But in the year 2000, it ceased operations. In 2017, Itapemirim wanted to buy the regional airline Passaredo, but got into financial difficulties itself and the deal was cancelled.
In the picture gallery above you can see pictures of the models that Itapemirim chose.