The regional airline Air Nostrum, from Spain, should start domestic flights in Brazil in the second half of this year. The forecast was made by ANAC, the country’s civil aviation agency this Thursday.

Headquartered in Valencia, Air Nostrum was founded in 1994 and since 1997 has operated as an Iberia franchise, displaying its livery on its planes. With a fleet of 50 aircraft, the regional company has the Canadian CRJ jet as its main model in addition to a dozen ATR turboprops. The company is affiliated with the Oneworld alliance.

The Brazilian aviation authority did not detail the information, however. In its short statement, ANAC only revealed that Air Nostrum executives were meeting at the agency and that after receiving authorization to fly in Brazil, the new company will adopt another name and focus on its operations in the regional market.

Deregulation

The Brazilian government has decided to open the country’s aviation market to foreign groups since last year. Until then, it was not possible to have control of airlines in Brazil, but a law approved by Congress changed this condition and it is now possible for foreign companies to open branches without the need for Brazilian partners.

However, the opening movement has not yet had an effect. Despite the interest of some groups, such as the Spanish Air Europa, no new airline started flights in the country. On the other hand, Brazil lost its fourth largest airline last year, Avianca, which stopped flying in May.