Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos (ITA), a new Brazilian carrier, presented its first aircraft on Thursday, an A320 jet that had arrived in Brazil on February 20. Previously used by Vueling in Spain, the jetliner received the company’s livery during this period.
The Airbus aircraft is the first one leased by the airline and was originally received from Spanair in 2005. ITA belongs to the Itapemirim group, with a long tradition in the bus and cargo transportation segment.
Although the airline has not released a statement, it is thought that the debut will take place at the end of March, on the route between São Paulo and Vitória, capital of the state where the group was founded in 1953.
Speaking in recent months, the new Brazilian airline has said it will offer an affordable service without giving up some amenities. One of the promised differentials is the space between the rows of seats. ITA’s A320 will carry only 162 passengers, less than Azul (174 seats) and LATAM (168 seats in three classes).
The company intends to serve several regions of Brazil, including the main cities in the country such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Brasília and Salvador.
ITA planned to debut in the Brazilian market with smaller aircraft, but the drop in air passenger traffic due to the pandemic made many larger planes available in addition to crew members, such as those that were discharged from LATAM.
Peak of the pandemic
Last year ITA revealed its intention to have 10 A320 jets in its fleet. In the most recent update of Airbus’ deliveries and orders, there are three aircraft in the name of the airline, which are due to travel to Brazil soon.
The new Brazilian airline, however, will debut at a delicate moment, with the coronavirus pandemic reaching its peak. With an increasing health crisis, Brazil is experiencing a period of lockdowns and curfews in some regions, affecting the economy, already staggering, and also reflected in air travel. It will be a challenging launch, there is no doubt.