FORT LAUDERDALE — Azul Brazilian Airlines launched service December 2 between the United States and North America. Flight 8704, an Airbus A330-200 named America Azul, landed at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) just before 5:00 a.m. local time.
Azul, founded by founder and former JetBlue CEO David Neeleman in 2008, serves more cities within Brazil than any other Brazilian airline and has carried more than 100 million passengers since its first flight nearly six years ago. The carrier will have 10 weekly departures from FLL, serving Sao Paulo/Campinas (VCP), departing VCP at 11:27pm local time. Azul will also be launching service from Sao/Paulo Campinas to Orlando on December 15, with service to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) beginning in 2015.
The A330s are configured for 273 seats, with 24 in business class and 249 seats in economy class.
“It’s with great happiness and deep pride in the accomplishments of our 10,000 crewmembers, that we bring Azul to Fort Lauderdale as our very first international city served,” said Neeleman.
Azul currently operates a fleet of ATR-42/72’s, Embraer 175/190/195’s, and long-haul A330-200s. It flies 146 aircraft ,with three A330’s currently flying and another four on order for delivery through January 2015. Azul will also begin flying the Airbus A350-900 in 2017, with a total of five on order. It also has 63 A320neos on order.
Azul has more than 850 daily departures and is poised for substantial growth in the coming years. The Brazilian carrier is planning an initial public offering shortly, both in Brazil and in New York. In 2014, Skytrax named it the best low-cost carrier for the fourth consecutive year. It has the best on-time performance of any Latin American carrier according to FlightStats.