Brazil to allow 49% foreign ownership of its airlines

Brazil (Brasilia) will permit foreigners to take up to a 49 percent stake in any Brazilian airlines compared with the current 20 percent limit, under a government proposal to modernize air transport before Brazil hosts the soccer World Cup and Olympic games.

According to Reuters, the airline industry, which transported 63 million passengers in 2008, is expected to expand by seven percent per year in coming years.

Brazil will host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic games in 2016, for which it expects a large increase in air traffic.

Under the new proposal, airlines could operate with a simple government authorization, as opposed to the current system in which they must request a concession in a cumbersome process. The new bill would also legally consolidate the liberalization of air fares that has taken place in recent years.

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