For the first time in 10 years, the number of airplane passengers has fallen in Brazil. In 2016, the country had 6.9% fewer passengers. Both domestic (7.8 percent) and international (3 percent) had a decrease. The total number of passengers was 109.6 million people, against 117.7 million in 2015. This number, by the way, was an all-time record for Brazil.
The information is in the Air Transport Yearbook, published by Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) in June.
The most remarkable decrease in airplane passengers was on flights to the United States: 17.4 percent fewer travelers. Argentina, on the hand, saw more Brazilians last year with an 11.4 percent increase. These were the Brazilians’ main travel destinations in 2016:
United States – 4,440,924 passengers (-17.4 percent)
Argentina – 3,431,848 passengers (+ 11.4 percent)
Chile – 1,500,579 passengers (+ 6.6 percent)
Portugal – 1,474,704 passengers (-4.1 percent)
Spain – 1,012,586 passengers (+ 4 percent)
France – 927,829 passengers (-4.4 percent)
The decrease in demand caused the airlines to reduce the number of flights. International flights decreased by 7.9 percent. Domestic flights dropped 11.4 percent. Even popular routes such as the “Ponte Aérea” (between Rio and São Paulo) suffered. The reduction was 3.5%.
Passport suspension might lead to steeper drop in airplane passengers
Furthermore, the outlook is not so bright for the Brazilian travel industry. Apart from the economic crisis, now travelers might not have documents go on vacation. Last month, Federal Police suspended passport issuance indefinitely. The reason is a lack of funds.
The expenses with this service have reached the limit established by the budget, the Federal Police say. The PF has not, however, set a date to resume the passport issuing service.
It is still possible to schedule appointments to start the process of obtaining the document. The Federal Police issued a statement explaining the measure. “There is no provision for delivery of the requested passport until the budgetary situation is normalized”, it states.
In Brazil, passports are valid for 10 years. After they expire it is necessary to request a new document, since there is no possibility of renewal. The suspension comes right before the school year’s winter vacations, in which many families travel abroad.