Brazil Bus Company Itapemirim Braves Long Odds to Launch Airline

Brazilian bus company Itapemirim is launching a new airline in June, betting it can dodge the financial ruin that has grounded many rival carriers even though the land transport company just spent five years reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, Reuters reported. The carrier expects to have a fleet of 50 Airbus A320 planes by next year, all painted in Itapemirim’s signature bright yellow color, trying to beat the odds that have led 11 airlines to fail in Brazil so far this century. “We have the intention of being the largest airline in Brazil, with all due respect to our competitors,” said Sidnei Piva, president of Grupo Itapemirim, which will emerge from bankruptcy this month. “We are not going to stop at just those 50 aircraft, we plan to multiply that number several times.” Key to its business pitch is selling tickets that mix air and bus travel, lowering travel time between Brazil’s smaller cities without adding much to the cost. Read more.