During his official visit to Angola, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, commonly known as Lula, ignited a dialogue about the potential for bolstering air connections between Brazil and the African continent. President Lula expressed his concern about the lack of direct air connections between Brazil and the African continent.
While President Lula’s remarks have sparked discussions, it’s worth noting that there are indeed existing flight routes between these two regions. President Lula’s observations were voiced in the context of his visit to Angola, a country well-served by regular flights to São Paulo-Guarulhos through its national airline, TAAG. Lula’s remarks seemingly stem from the notion that Brazil, given its size and global stature, should enjoy direct flights to Africa.
“I want to discuss why a country the size of Brazil cannot have direct flights to the African continent. When I return to Brazil, I’m going to talk to the airlines, with the Ministry of Ports and Airports. We will seek solutions to this problem,” President Lula shared on Twitter.
Eu quero discutir como o país do tamanho do Brasil não tem voos diretos para o continente africano. Quando eu voltar para o Brasil, vou conversar com as companhias aéreas, com o Ministério dos Portos e Aeroportos. Vamos buscar soluções para esse problema.
— Lula (@LulaOficial) August 26, 2023
It is crucial to recognize, however, that air connectivity between Brazil and Africa has not been entirely severed. Throughout the pandemic, select airlines have maintained vital flight connections. Ethiopian Airlines, for instance, continued to operate weekly flights from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to São Paulo/Guarulhos. Moreover, TAAG Angola resumed its flights from Luanda to São Paulo as the pandemic situation improved.
Exciting developments lie on the horizon, as LATAM Brazil is set to reopen flights to Johannesburg, while Egypt Air is poised to launch unprecedented flights from Cairo to São Paulo. South African Airways is prioritizing Brazil as its first destination outside Africa after resuming operations, offering a groundbreaking service from Cape Town to São Paulo. The Johannesburg – São Paulo route is also making a comeback.
Cabo Verde Airlines (TACV) has also unveiled plans to resume flights from Ilha do Sal, Cape Verde, to Fortaleza, Brazil, later this year. These forthcoming routes are poised to strengthen air links between the two regions as well as facilitating trade, tourism, and cultural exchange.
President Lula’s remarks have spurred substantial attention on social media, with users debating the potential impact of enhanced air connections. While President Lula’s expression of concern highlights a relevant matter, it’s noteworthy that operational flights and forthcoming route expansions are actively improving air connectivity between Brazil and Africa.
Featured image: Flickr