Fitch Ratings say that Brazil’s airports are likely to accommodate the traffic challenges the FIFA World Cup will present and pass the test, despite some gateways being behind in upgrades.
The South American country is set to welcome 3.7 million passengers from June 12 to July 13, with approximately 600,000 likely to be foreign tourists arriving directly through Brazil’s gateways. Rio de Janeiro is expected to see approximately 544,000 visitors and San Paulo about 390,000. According to a release on the website of the ratings agency Fitch “Brazil’s railway network is limited, making airport infrastructure critical.” Fitch explains that according to Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuaria, around BRL 5.6 billion was invested in the improvement of airport infrastructure for the World Cup. Most of the work was dedicated to building, or renovating passenger terminals, aircraft gates and runway conditions. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, was reported on Monday in media reports, as saying the upgraded airports would be a ‘legacy’ of the FIFA World Cup. In Rio, the main airport’s capacity has been increased by 80% and she adds more upgrades would be undertaken between the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The government was also investing BRL 7.3 billion on expanding 270 airports in Brazil. Since 2003, Brazilian airport passenger traffic has surged from 33 million to 111 million a year, an increase that has strained the aging airport infrastructure and caused severe delays.