Natalie Paris, The Daily Telegraph, January 16, 2014
Flights to Brazil for the World Cup may not be as expensive as first thought now that two airlines have agreed to cap their prices.
Avianca Brasil pledged this week that it will not let the cost of domestic flights during the competition spiral out of control. It is the second airline to do so, as Azul Linhas Aereas also promised a cap a week ago.
Avianca has said it will not charge more than 999 reais (£260) for domestic flights departing between February to July, the same maximum price as Azul. The Azul guarantee only applies during June and July however. It was initially thought that internal flights might cost around £600.
Around 600,000 foreign and 3m native football fans are expected to attend the event. With matches taking place at 12 stadiums across the country, the long distances make air travel a necessity.
England is due to play its group matches in Manaus (in the Amazon region), Sao Paulo (near the south coast) and Belo Horizonte.
Both airlines, along with Brazil's largest carrier TAM, have requested hundreds of extra routes be added to expand options for travel between venues.
News of the caps put pressure on Brazil’s two other airlines, including its biggest, to follow suit. The country has indicated it expects national carriers to cope with demand without allowing foreign airlines to operate domestic flights.
The projected high cost of air travel in Brazil during the World Cup has been an issue for both fans and politicians in recent months. Last October, Brazil created an inter-ministerial committee to monitor prices given reports of expensive accommodation and flights .
Roughly 75 per cent of hotels in game venues have signed up to the Fifa-approved MATCH accommodation service, which tends to demand long-stay bookings.
Hotels were also found to be two to three times more expensive during the competition than they were outside this period.