The Guarulhos International Airport, the main international airport serving São Paulo, Brazil, is the busiest airport in the country. Brazil is one of the leading economies in South America with a well-developed air transport infrastructure which includes over 1000 airports located in various cities across the country.
Guarulhos International Airport
The Guarulhos International Airport began operating in 1985 in Guarulhos, about 18 miles from São Paulo City. The airport serves the city and receives the bulk of its international arrivals. It serves 39,573,000 passengers annually, and handled 339,828 metric tons of cargo in 2014. Airlines based in the airport are the LATAM Brasil, Avianca Brazil, and Gol Transportes Aéreos. The airport ranks as the busiest airport in South America and 30th in the world. Its primary destinations include other South American countries, US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Guarulhos International Airport boasts three passenger terminals and one cargo terminal.
Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport
Located in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, is the Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport ranked as the second busiest airport in the nation. The airport’s history can be traced to 1955 when the Vera Cruz Airport operated on a soil runaway and a makeshift hut as a passenger terminal. The Brasilia Airport was subsequently opened in 1971, and it has undergone several renovations to date. It was renamed the Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport in 1999 as an honor to the country’s 21st president, Juscelino Kubiyschek de Oliveira. The airport is ranked as one of South America's busiest airports, handling 18,146,405 passengers annually in addition to 39,476 metric tons of cargo. The airport serves as a hub for LATAM Brasil, Avianca Brazil, and Gol Airlines.
Congonhas Airport serves 18,134,768 passengers annually to rank as Brazil’s third busiest airport. It serves as a commercial airport for São Paulo, and it is operated by Infraero. Plans to build the airport began in 1919, but it wasn’t until 1936 when operations officially commenced. It was the city’s primary airport until the construction of the Guarulhos International Airport. The Congonhas Airport deals in domestic flights to other cities in the country and it a hub for Tam, Gol, and Avianca Brazil Airlines.
Galeão International Airport
Galeão International Airport is the busiest airport in Rio de Janeiro and the 4th busiest in the country. The airport’s history can be traced to 1923 when a School of Naval Aviation was built on Governador Island. After expansion and renovation, the airport had become the country’s domestic and international air hub by 1970. The airport serves 17,261,873 passengers annually, and it handled 132,792 metric tons of cargo in 2015. It is a hub for Gol Transportes Aéreos.
The air transportation has grown in Brazil during the last few years thanks to a growing middle class and the emergence of the country as a leading economy in the region. The industry recorded a 12% growth in 2013 and 10% in the following year. Stakeholders in the industry are optimistic about future growth, and several airports have unveiled plans to increase passenger capacity to keep up with the growing demand. The domestic market is projected to continue growing in line with the rising middle class.