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Fortaleza airport has the potential to be the country's largest hub

by Cristina Fontenele

Fortaleza airport may become Brazil’s largest hub according to Dutch consultancy To70, a specialist in aviation . The strategic location of the state, facilitating connections with Europe, the Caribbean and North America, is one of the main factors to turn the capital in a successful hub, which has in the Air France-KLM group, in partnership with GOL, its driving force.

The secretary for Economic Development of Ceará (SDE), César Ribeiro, points out the importance of specialized consulting to publish an article on the hub. “It recognizes the potential of the airport, placing Ceará as one of the world's largest hub for airline connections. It makes us happy not only by the increase in the flow but mainly for the options in the economy we have with these opportunities”.

Concerning a possible hub of Latam for the airport of Fortaleza, the secretary informs that there is no expectation in the short term. The company would have already made clear its position announcing that the project is suspended. Regarding the works to expand the terminal by Fraport, César says that although it is a situation that does not involve State and City Hall, both are contributing to "move forward" with the project.

According to Adalberto Febeliano, professor of Economy and Air transport Planning, the great potential of Fortaleza’s hub is to become the main international center of connections due to the geographical proximity of the Northeast to Europe. “Looking at the map, it is halfway there. You can stop in Fortaleza, change planes and make a smarter distribution”.

Regarding to be considered as Brazil’s most important hub, Adalberto considers that in the segment of domestic flights, Brasilia, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro airports have different economic potentials. Fortaleza should overcome Galeão and Guarulhos to place itself as the largest hub in the country.

Today, the country’s largest hub is Guarulhos, which accounts for two-thirds of Brazil’s flights. “It has already been 75% of the country’s international flights, which shows that there is a dispersion. This is a good sign, because in this trend other airports are beginning to receive international flights” says Carlos Grotta, professor of airport logistics at the Technology School of the State of São Paulo (FATEC).

Carlos points out that talking about Fortaleza's forecast as the country's largest hub, for now, is only a possibility. To be more concrete you need more predictability.

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