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The Impact of an Old Fleet on the Demand for Air Transportation: The Case of VASP Brazilian Airlines
The Viação Aérea São Paulo, known by the great public as VASP Brazilian
Airlines, was created in November of 1933, in São Paulo. The company at first was
investor owned and its first planes were two Monospar, bought from an English airline.
Even though it had a good beginning, the company had constant losses and the only
solution to solve the crisis was asking for government help. On March of 1935, the São
Paulo government agreed to help the company, not lending money but making it a public
company owned half by the state and half by the city of São Paulo. The VASP owners
agreed with that decision, because it was the only way to avoid bankruptcy.
After decades under government control, in 1988, the São Paulo state told the press
that it wished to privatize the company because it still had monthly losses. On October of
1990, on a public auction, the VOE/CANHEDO group, represented by the Canhedo Group
and the VASP employers, bought the company for US$44 million dollars. Until today, the
company is owned by the VOE/CANHEDO group.
After the reelection of Fernando Henrique Cardoso as President of Brazil, the
brazilian central bank decided to devaluate its currency and the airlines suffered a lot
because its debts were in US dollars. One of the biggest problems that VASP faced was that
it had earnings on brazilian currency and had costs in US dollars.
QUndergraduate Student of EPGE/FGV; E-mail: [email protected]
While VASP was facing all this trouble, in 2001, the “low fare airlines boom”
arrived in Brazil. The GOL Linhas Aéreas was a mimic of Jet Blue 1. Its prices were at least
40% less than the airlines operating in Brazil and it did attract costumers. The meal served
inside the plane is quite simple, just cold sandwiches and cereal bars.
VASP that could not compete with the brazilian biggest airlines, VARIG and TAM,
now had a competitor: GOL. At the end of 2002, GOL passed VASP on the brazilian
airline market, making VASP the 4th brazilian airline,
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