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Azul to introduce South America?s first live TV

17th December 2008 - 18:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman has launched Azul, his first venture since leaving JetBlue and his fourth overall. The Brazilian domestic carrier is now serving the cities of Campinas, Salvador de Bahia and Porto Alegre with five Embraer regional jets that are due to be equipped for the LiveTV inflight television service.

Services are being provided with three 118-seat Embraer 195s and a pair of 106-seat 190s. Another three aircraft are to be added next month to support non-stop service from Campinas to Vitoria and Curitiba from mid-January. The carrier has a total of 78 aircraft on order and aims to serve 25 cities throughout Brazil with 16 aircraft by the end of next year.

Azul’s aircraft are furnished with ultra-leather seats in two-by-two configuration. Seat pitch in most of the cabin is 31inch, with 34in on offer for an extra charge of $13 in the first five rows. By the end of next year, says the airline, each seat will have a screen to show LiveTV programmes.

This is LiveTV’s first step into South America. Earlier this year the Florida-based company announced Continental Airlines as a new customer. The US major has decided (Inflight Online, February 1) to equip its Boeing 737NGs – a total of 157 -700s, 800s, 900s and 900ERs currently in service, with 63 more on order – and its 17 Boeing 757-300s to receive the company’s television service and to offer instant messaging and email to passenger devices via the 1MHz of air-to-ground spectrum that LiveTV won at auction in 2006.

LiveTV also serves JetBlue, AirTran Airways (receiving XM Satellite Radio), Frontier Airlines and Canada’s Westjet in North America, and Australian carrier Virgin Blue.

The Shephard News Team


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