Azul Linhas Aéreas tried to establish a route to Heathrow Airport, in London, from the fourth quarter, but had its request for slots denied by Airport Coordination Limited (ACL), the agency that organizes the demand for flights in the United Kingdom.
The application appears in an ACL report covering the weeks between the end of October and the end of March, the winter season.
Currently, the Brazilian airline flies to Lisbon, Portugal, and launched a daily flight to Paris (Orly) at the end of April. Both flights operate from the its main hub in Brazil, in Viracopos.
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The interest in flying to one of the busiest airports in Europe reinforces the airline’s drive to expand its international operations, currently quite restricted.
However, Azul is going through a period of changes in its long-distance fleet. The airline had two Airbus A350-900 previously planned to be received, passed on to Iberia.
There have been rumors for a few weeks now that even the two jets of the type receive last year will also be withdrawn from service due to the high operating cost. Azul, however, preferred not to comment on the possible changes.
LATAM Perú: Lima-London flight
Currently, the route between the United Kingdom and Brazil is served by British Airways (which flies to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) and LATAM Airlines (Heathrow-Guarulhos).
From April 2024, however, Virgin Atlantic will also operate a daily flight between London and Sao Paulo.
Refusal to obtain slots is not uncommon at Heathrow, which has much greater demand than it can handle.
In addition to Azul, several other carriers did not have their slot requests approved, such as ITA Airways, Emirates, TAP, Turkish Airlines and Virgin itself.
British Airways, Croatia Airlines, Tunisair benefited from the expansion of their slots. LATAM Airlines Peru will debut on the London-Lima route after having 220 slots approved.