SAO PAULO, Brazil, April 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Azul Brazilian Airlines expects to debut its first international flights by early 2015. The U.S. flights will be served from Azul's brand new $1.5 billion terminal at São Paulo/Campinas airport, strategically located 50 minutes from downtown Sao Paulo. Campinas is Brazil's largest airline hub offering connections to 104 domestic cities. Azul's U.S. gateways will be announced later this year.
Azul will operate the new international routes with a fleet of 11 wide-body Airbus aircraft. The airline has ordered five Airbus A350-900 – the World's most advanced jetliner – with deliveries beginning in early 2017. In addition, six Airbus A330-200 will be used to launch service in early 2015. The new aircraft will be leased from ILFC and will be equipped with Rolls-Royce engines. Azul's fleet currently comprises of 80 Embraer and 56 ATR aircraft.
"Azul is the one airline that truly serves all of Brazil. With 104 destinations, Azul unites the country better than any other airline, with convenient and frequent connections," said David Neeleman, CEO and Founder of Azul. "Our customers have been asking for this and now we look forward to providing them with our superior service on international flights, just as we have been doing today on our 880 daily domestic departures. We're excited to share the Azul experience with new customers internationally and expand the airline's success story beyond Brazil's borders."
With less than six years of operations, Azul already has flown more than 85 million customers and changed the face of air travel in the Brazilian market since its first flight, on December 15, 2008.
The foundation of the airline was built around the Brazilian made Embraer E-jet. From that foundation, Azul has expanded to 880 daily flights, which represents one-third of Brazil's daily departures. The airline currently operates a fleet of 136 aircraft and employs more than 10.000 people.
It has been voted the best low-cost carrier in South America three years in a row by Skytrax, and best low-cost carrier in the world by CAPA in 2012. It has also been voted one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company Magazine.
Media Contact: Gareth Edmondson-Jones GEJ Ink (917) 399-9355