Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ash and Fog

Made it!
The volcanic ash cloud from unpronouncable Icelandic volcanoes appears to have become a regular phenomenon in Europe. Well, welcome to the club. In São Paulo the winter is approaching and with it the regular phenomenon of fog. Fog is so intense in the Guarulhos Airport area (THE major airport) that the airport regularly closes during fall and winter mornings. This morning was another case - I have two colleagues flying in and both were diverted to Campinas airport, where they are hanging around now before they get sent back to São Paulo - immigration in Campinas is, for some odd reason I do not understand, not possible.

I wonder what the considerations were, when the military junta decided to build the major airgateway into São Paulo in the foggy hole of Guarulhos in the 80s...

But there is really interesting news too: Emirates has asked the governmental airport administrator INFRAERO permission to start using the A380 on their Dubai-São Paulo flights starting December. Their 777-300ER are at 90+% capacity (just like most other airlines heading down here) and they would like to cram in more people. Apparently this could work, if one of the taxi runways were closed during landing and take-off (the A380 seems to have a veeeery large wingspan) and if some adjustments for parking positions were made (for example by scrapping old VASP 727 rotting away on the airport). Infraero has not given a final position yet. Apparently Lufthansa, Air France and Singapore Airlines (which just recently took up Singapore-Barcelona-São Paulo) have also inquired about A380 capacity in GRU. Immigration, which is hell on earth already today, is likely to get worse.

P.S. Emirates will also be flying Dubai-Rio starting in 2012, so the selection of routes into Brazil is expanding.

1 comment:

  1. Neven,

    I think they will end up doing the necessary adaptations, the question is if they will do it in a timely fashion.
    We heard the same drama in the late 70's when Congonhas was operating above capacity and in no time they built Cumbica in Guarulhos.
    In my opinion, this is a great oportunity to built a new, bigger and better airport at a less FOG prone location, preferably, somewhere adjacent to the new BULLET TRAIN.
    I am confident Sao Paulo's government will deliver, the best solution right now is to turn their Airports to the Private sector.