VARIG Brazilian Airlines, Latin America’s largest airline and the anchor for Star Alliance in the region, announced today that it has re-introduced Boeing 777 service between New York’s JFK Airport and Guarulhos Airport serving Sao Paulo. The daily flight continues to Rio de Janeiro.
“VARIG has replaced its MD-11 service with the B-777 as it has acquired an additional Triple 7, now bringing the total fleet of this aircraft type to 4,” Vicente Cervo, VARIG’s Director-North America, said. “The market, which is predominantly business travel-oriented, prefers the 777, thus we are delighted to be able to offer this aircraft to our customers,” he noted.
Cervo said that VARIG will celebrate 50 years of service on the Brazil-NYC route this year, having inaugurated flights in May 1955 with a Lockheed Super Constellation which took 18 hours and several stops to complete the journey. Today, the B-777 flies non-stop in under 9 hours.
Flight # 8865 departs each evening at 6:45 and arrives in Sao Paulo the following morning at 6:15 a.m. and continues to Rio de Janeiro, arriving there at 8:15 a.m. VARIG flights operate from JFK’s newest terminal, T-4, the venue for the 2004 hit movie, “The Terminal.” At T-4, VARIG has both first and business class lounges which provide separate areas for smokers.
VARIG recently announced its best January financial performance in 8 years and has enjoyed an excellent Carnaval Season, the pre-lenten period of festivities for which Brazil is so well known. For the last reported quarter, the third quarter of 2004, VARIG earned over US$ 100 million. The planned merger with its Brazilian competitor, TAM, has been cancelled as both carriers have produced vastly improved results in recent months.