Friday, September 16, 2011

Groundhog Day in Brazil

No, this is Barcelona airport (and yes, it is in operation)

I came back from Spain last weekend and came through two airports there: Palma and Barcelona. Both are huge and whereas Palma is a bit old, it is still fairly efficient and even sports valet parking. Barcelona by contrast is a modern, efficient and great airport to fly into and out of or to connect through: Transit is fast, waiting times short, with a great shopping area and a pretty good Spanair lounge.

Then I flew into Guarulhos and noticed how much there still is to do...But the airport claims to be ready for the world cup, with a MOP (Modulo Operacional Provisiorio, i.e. a provisional terminal). I was also "lucky" to experience this MOP on a business trip this week: Whoever has flown through many of these RyanAir airports in Europe will be able to picture this well: A very simple structure with many chairs and a small counter which sells semblances of food - if you are willing to fork out 3.00USD for a bottle of water - has the charm of a bus station. Oh yes, my flight also left late and came back late the next day... And I also did not find a parking space, I did what everybody does. As there is no alternative and the generous 3000 spaces are never enough...

What else is new this week?

  • The minister of tourism quit after allegations of corruption - that is number 5 this year. The new minister (also from the PMDB) has named his number one priority getting ready for the world cup. Sounds like Groundhog Day to me.
  • A new hobby of thieves, blowing up ATMs, seems to be catching on. This week, the 500th (yes, five hundred) ATM was blown up trying to get some easy money. Unfortunately for the culprits, the money was tainted with special ink, as is the case of most ATM if they are tampered with. The Civil Police is searching chemical industries in the whole region for possible losses of chemical products used to make explosives... 500 ATM, that is alot of explosive in just 9 months...
  • Inflation is expected to hit around 7.5% this year, and GDP growth should not surpass 3.5%
  • The USD hit a 12-month high vs the BRL - this will help exports and possibly slow down some speculative capital inflows
  • To protect the Brazilian car industry, the government has increased the IPI (a tax) for small cars with no Brazilian components to 35% (up from 7%)
  • Construction Workers at the 2014 World Cup Stadiums in Rio and Belo Horizonte have been on strike (B.H. sind this week, Rio since September 1)
Looks like the last couple months will not be boring. ;-)

UPDATE 17.09.2011: According to the Infraero website, the MOP in Guarulhos is not temporary, but can be used "for a very long time, if required".


  1. Neven,

    IPI stands for Imposto sobre Produto Industrializado. Tax over Industrialized Product.
    I will never understand Sao Paulo's main Airport 3000 parking spots. Tampa, Florida, a total secondary tourist city, 50.000 covered parking, always full by the way.
    Not to mention, they could make a ton of money if they built a gigantic parking lot at Guarulhos Airport. There is certain demand to make it a profit investment.


  2. @Ray: Thanks. I know about the IPI, I just did not want to complicate things. I will be at Guarulhos later today again - lets see how parking goes this time... at least now I know why I have a SUV...