Brazil received over ten million travelers in January 2023, according to data recently published by the country’s Civil Aviation National Agency. This is the first time in more than two years that the South American country surpasses Mexico in a monthly comparison of passenger numbers and could be a hint of Brazil resuming its spot as the largest nation in the region in terms of yearly air traffic.

Brazil’s strong January performance

Led by LATAM, GOL Linhas Aéreas, and Azul Linhas Aéreas, Brazil had 10.15 million passengers in January 2023, recently published data has shown. Overall, Brazil had 8.32 million domestic and 1.83 million international passengers.


Photo: Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock.

Despite the strong numbers, Brazil has not yet fully recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2020, the country had 11.57 million passengers. The overall recovery has reached 88%, fueled mainly by the domestic segment (89.4%), while the international segment remains behind (80.6%).

LATAM Airlines Group remains the top airline company in Brazil, carrying 3.28 million passengers (between LATAM Brasil, LAN Chile, LAN Peru, and TAM Mercosur). GOL Linhas Aéreas also carried over three million passengers and held a 30.25% market share. Finally, Azul Linhas Aéreas carried 2.59 million passengers and a 25.51% market share.

Good results

This was the first month in years that Brazil surpassed Mexico in monthly passengers. In 2020, 2021, and 2022, Mexico closed as the number one market in the Latin American region in terms of passengers, something completely unbelievable in the pre-COVID environment.

According to data from Mexico’s civil aviation authorities, the North American country had 9.93 million passengers in January 2023, of which 4.97 million were domestic, and 4.95 were international.

Mexico was led by Volaris with 2.58 million passengers, Aeromexico with 1.94 million passengers, and Viva Aerobus with 1.65 million passengers. This was the final full month of Aeromar, the now deceased carrier, which ceased operations in February. In January, Aeromar carried 23,595 passengers, just 35% of the levels it had in January 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can Brazil sustain this level of operation?

It will be very interesting to follow Brazil’s recovery this year. It is expected that the South American country fully rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2023 after a lengthy recovery harmed by international travel restrictions and an overall lack of demand and travel appetite.

Photo: Matheus Obst/Shutterstock.

January is the high season for Brazil, as the summer season goes on in the Southern Hemisphere. As fall and winter approach, it will be key to follow the demand airlines can get in this country.

Nonetheless, the Brazilian airlines are excited about what’s to come. LATAM Brasil recently announced an increase in weekly capacity in the long-haul service between Sao Paulo Guarulhos and Barcelona El Prat; Azul Linhas Aéreas has announced new routes to Paris Orly and Curazao and may be planning to launch a new route to New York John F. Kennedy this year.

Do you think Brazil can sustain this level of monthly passengers throughout 2023? Let us know in the comments below.

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This content was originally published here.