MIAMI , June 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On June 26, officials from Miami-Dade County, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Avianca Brasil gathered at Miami International Airport to celebrate the launch of the airline's daily Miami-São Paulo service, marking Avianca Brasil's first passenger route to a U.S. destination and only its second outside of South America.
"I commend the MIA team for continually attracting new international air service to our community," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "It is especially encouraging to see increased service from our top international market of Brazil, which had a downturn in travel last year."
The June 26 celebration included a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, commemorative cake and refreshments with passengers, and a water-cannon salute from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue before Avianca Brasil's Monday departure to São Paulo.
Avianca Brasil's first Miami-bound flight left Sao Paulo (GRU) on Friday, June 23, at 11:55 p.m. and landed at MIA at 7:25 a.m. on Saturday, June 24. The new daily nonstop passenger flights are serviced by Airbus A330-200 aircraft that seat 238 passengers.
"We are honored that Avianca Brasil has chosen to expand its operations at MIA, and also make Miami its first passenger route outside of South America," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. "While we continue to pursue routes in untapped regions across the globe, we are also working to strengthen air service in our stronghold areas of Latin America and the Caribbean."
MIA currently serves an average of 71 weekly non-stop passenger flights to eight cities in Brazil, which is the most of any U.S. airport. Avianca Brasil will be the airport's third airline serving Brazil, MIA's top international market in 2015 with more than 2.1 million total passengers.
"At Avianca Brasil, we are experiencing an exciting transition and new cycle of growth. We are building a stronger, more mature and more competitive carrier," said Frederico Pedreira, Chief Executive Officer, Avianca Brasil. "Due to the large concentration of Brazilians visiting and living in South Florida, we decided to launch long-haul operations at this time because we understand that there are good business opportunities and a chance to provide high quality services to international travelers."
Avianca Brasil is the eighth international passenger airline to schedule a service launch into the Miami market this year. Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris began four weekly flights to Guadalajara and daily service to Mexico City on February 1; Canadian airline First Air began charter passenger flights on February 4 from Ontario; low-cost transatlantic airline WOW air launched thrice-weekly service to Reykjavík, Iceland on April 5; BVI Airways is scheduled to launch first-ever nonstop service between Tortola, British Virgin Islands and MIA on July 22; Aer Lingus will launch three weekly flights to Dublin, Ireland on September 1; SAS will begin weekly service to Stockholm, Sweden on October 29; and EL AL Israel Airlines will begin three weekly flights from Tel Aviv on November 1. MIA currently serves 106 airlines, which is the most of any U.S. airport.
Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America's second-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of more than 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA's vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions. MIA is committed to sustainable practices. Learn more at www.MIAefficiency.com.
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SOURCE Miami International Airport