Brazil's Gol and TAM airlines, which between them account for close to 90% of the Brazilian air travel announced on Wednesday, December 16, initiatives to attract what they call the new middle class to buy airplane tickets.
The new middle class is the low middle-class. For them TAM announced a partnership with Itaú Unibanco tickets to finance tickets up to 48 months.
Gol, on the other is opening of the first store Voe Fácil (Fly Easy) in Santo Amaro, a place famous for popular commerce in the south side of São Paulo.Â
The financing of the TAM tickets through Itaú Unibanco is available to all individual account holders with bank credit to obtain financing. The idea is to draw people who make long trips by bus across Brazil.
Brazilian airline Gol has just opened its first VoeFacil store to sell Gol air tickets. The store is located in Largo 13 de Maio, in the south side of São Paulo, a Brazilian middle-class shopping region, which has one of the city's biggest bus and subway terminals through which one million passengers pass every day, according to the São Paulo municipal government.
"The stores were designed to increase Gol's presence among Brazil's new middle-class, offering air fares that are competitive with intercity bus fares," declared Eduardo Benardes, Gol's Sales Director.
"Air transport reduces whole days of travel to just hours and is also considerably more comfortable, with added service quality. In addition, clients can buy their tickets in up to 36 installments, something which the bus companies cannot offer," he added.
"With a simple layout and low-cost points of sale, investments in these new outlets are exceptionally low with no impact on the Company's overall cost structure. We plan to inaugurate two more stores in 2010 as part of the initial implementation phase," affirmed Leonardo Pereira, the Company's Executive Vice President.
"Brazil's air sector has enormous growth potential – around 100 million people can afford to fly, but only around 10% actually do so," he added.
"This is a concrete step towards expanding Gol's presence among the new middle class. To this end, the Company's strategy combines a greater physical presence in high traffic and population density regions in Brazil's biggest cities with the introduction of new communications and marketing channels, aiming to attract these potential customers and show that everyone can fly with Gol," concluded Pereira.
The minimum income to get a Gol card, according to the company, is a minimum wage, right now 465 reais or 266 US dollars.