Don’t know why
There’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy weather …
Every year, it rains like mad every single freaking day over much of Sambodia.
Every year, the spectacle of flooded-out Brazilians rules the airwaves and hands are wrung.
This year, the images have been of flooding in Southern California and headlines like “Hellish Megastorm Advances on U.S. Northeast!“
In a similar way, every year, the Brazilian holiday traveler is bombarded with alarmist messages about the impending “chaos in the skies.”
But if you make a rough comparison of Brazilian aviation statistics with data on the on-time performance of flight operations back at home, they seem actually seem fairly comparable — mutatis mutandis.
We don’t travel enough to provide effective eyewitness testimony, but in our limited experience, nothing bad has happened on a Brazilian flight so far that has not happened on United or American Airlines — and with no huge difference in frequency of occurrence, now that Varig, which really did suck badly, in our experience, is out of business.
It would be interesting to know how much the weather is a factor in on-time performance in the two big countries of similar size and climactic diversity.
U.S. statistics will estimate this for you where Brazilian statistics won’t, not yet.
I tend to think Brazil has more extreme weather, but then again, snowstorms no longer shock me, whereas Sambodians find them astonishing.
The Correio Braziliense reports on the “chaos, controlled” — from a Ministry of Planning press clipping.
Average of flight delays is less than 15% and most passengers report no problems.
With airport workers and pilots working at full strength this Christmas, the situation was calm this Saturday. Attorney Celina Serra, 39, was surprised to encounter such a short line at check-in at the Brasília airport.
“It thought it would be insane, which is why I got here early. But it’s calmer than it is on normal days,”, she said. Celina lives in Fortaleza and traveled to Brasília with her daughter to spend Christmas with her family. From the federal capital, the two traveled on to Rio de Janeiro, where they plan to spend New Year’s.
Flight delays at Brazilian airports from midnight to 3 p.m. on Saturday were the lowest in four days — an average of 13.6% as of 11 a.m. Of the 1,351 domestic take-offs scheduled nationwide, 184 took off more than 30 minutes late.
I think they use 60 minutes back home.
Also in favor of the Brazilians is the fact that the rough local equivalents of L.A., New York and Chicago are geographically close together. The São Paulo to Rio route is roughly equivalent to the New York-D.C. hop, skip and jump.
Another 37, or 2.7% of all flights, were cancelled.
Of the three largest airports, Guarulhos (SP) continued to present the highest rate of flight delays — 25.6%. In second place was Brasília, with 19%. Galeão (RJ) registered 12.1%.
Webjet led the airlines in flight delays, with 25.6%. TAM, which presented the highest rate in recent days,registered delays on 20.6% of its flights, followed by Gol, with 10.6% and Azul with 7.3%. Some 2% of Avianca flights were delayed.
Azul is the Brazilian version of Jet Blue, and still has a small market share. There is really only Gol and TAM for most destinations. I have always enjoyed flying Gol — whose Embraer regional airliners have wider seats for my wide load, among other things.
Last week, airline employees were threatening to strike, and a federal court issued an injunction that extended the strike ban until January 10, on pain of a R$3 million a day fine.. On Thursday evening, the injunction was struck down and a Wednesday ruling by the federal labor tribunal (TST) upheld, ordering 80% of the workers to remain on the job until January 2, on pain of a R$ 100,000 fine per day. .
Despite their victory in the courts, airline workers decided there would be no national strike, for now. The national union, the SNA, said its goal was to restart talks with ownership. “We will have a teleconference on Sunday to see what comes next”, said SNA president Selma Palvino.
It could even be that the workers decided against the strike because of their court victory.