ABEAR sees free baggage check as a “setback”

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The Brazilian Association of Airlines (ABEAR) criticized this Wednesday (18) the Senate’s decision to approve the Provisional Measure (MP) that relaxes rules for the air sector. Known as the “MP do Voo Simples”, it provides free baggage of up to 23 kg on domestic flights, and 30 kg on international travel.

ABEAR considered it a “setback that misaligns the country with the best international practices to reduce costs and, together with the release of foreign capital, stimulate competitiveness”. The entity stressed that there is no free luggage and that the passenger “will pay this bill” because the cost of dispatch will be diluted in all tickets as was the case before.

The association recalled that the costs are in dollars and emphasized that the return of the mandatory baggage allowance should also remove the interest of low-cost airlines from operating in the country. In 2017, at least eight foreign companies, seven of them “low cost”, showed interest and started operating in the country.

In 2020, however, the new coronavirus pandemic interrupted this movement. The sector’s expectation in 2017 was to maintain the drop in the value of tariffs that had been verified since 2003, but the high exchange rate (60%) and kerosene (209%) from 2017 to the present day reversed this movement.

The Brazilian Association for Consumer Protection (Proteste) explained that the payment of checked baggage, which has taken place since July 2017, was conditioned to a contribution to reduce ticket prices, which did not occur. According to Proteste, not only did the tickets continue to increase, but now the fees for checking bags are increasing as well.

The Simple Flight MP, approved this Tuesday (17) by the Senate, also simplifies aircraft licensing, facilitates the creation of new airlines, democratizes airspace and prepares Brazil for international agreements that admit the so-called free skies.

With changes in the original text of the MP, the matter valid until June 1st, returns to the analysis of the Chamber of Deputies. After this process, the text will be sanctioned by President Jair Bolsonaro.

With information from Gabrielle Varella and Eduardo Hahonda*

Source: CNN Brasil

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