How are the BA Brazilian routes doing?

Old Oct 30, 20, 8:16 pm
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How are the BA Brazilian routes doing?

Hi all,

I know GRU has restarted and GIG is planned to restart next month (or it may have been pushed back, please correct me?)

Was wondering as Brazil is now fully open borders wise, no testing or quarantine, and seems to be stabilising covid wise, plus the large UK Brazilian population plus I presume transit traffic from Portugal and Italy, how the GRU service has fared since restarting?

I am planning to fly LHR-GIG in January and also wanted to know how likely it is to go ahead?

Thanks all,

FC
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Old Oct 30, 20, 9:11 pm
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I am not sure about the exact loads but it should be transfer pax from Portugal, Italy, Spain, etc... that are currently flying the LHR-GRU route.
Plus, it's the only operating BA route to South America so there should be onward transfer pax transferring to LATAM flights.

I am not sure if BA would operate GIG in January, most likely not.
Though if your GIG flight gets cancelled, BA would rebook you via GRU and then to a domestic LATAM flight.

By the way, if the UK travel corridor list does not have Brasil, you would need to self-isolate for 14 days after your return to the UK.
At the moment, Brasil is not in the travel corridor list of the United Kingdom.
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Old Oct 30, 20, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
I am not sure about the exact loads but it should be transfer pax from Portugal, Italy, Spain, etc... that are currently flying the LHR-GRU route.
Plus, it's the only operating BA route to South America so there should be onward transfer pax transferring to LATAM flights.

I am not sure if BA would operate GIG in January, most likely not.
Though if your GIG flight gets cancelled, BA would rebook you via GRU and then to a domestic LATAM flight.

By the way, if the UK travel corridor list does not have Brasil, you would need to self-isolate for 14 days after your return to the UK.
At the moment, Brasil is not in the travel corridor list of the United Kingdom.

Thanks for the info! I think I will go ahead and book it and let BA reroute me via GRU if needs must!
​​
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Old Oct 31, 20, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by flyingcrazy View Post
Hi all,

I know GRU has restarted and GIG is planned to restart next month (or it may have been pushed back, please correct me?)

Was wondering as Brazil is now fully open borders wise, no testing or quarantine, and seems to be stabilising covid wise, plus the large UK Brazilian population plus I presume transit traffic from Portugal and Italy, how the GRU service has fared since restarting?

I am planning to fly LHR-GIG in January and also wanted to know how likely it is to go ahead?

Thanks all,

FC
If you wanted to be sure of avoiding a connection through Guarulhos, Lisbon is a virtually pain-free connection. TAP is flying to Rio. Wrong alliance of course

ditto AF/KL from Paris/Amsterdam


PS You might be over-estimating the gluttony for punishment of travellers from Portugal, even OneWorlders. LATAM flies Lisbon to GRU, while Azul serves SAO-Viracopas and TAP has kept quite a large part of its Brasil network open.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 2:28 am
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Originally Posted by flyingcrazy View Post
Hi all,

I know GRU has restarted and GIG is planned to restart next month (or it may have been pushed back, please correct me?)

Was wondering as Brazil is now fully open borders wise, no testing or quarantine, and seems to be stabilising covid wise, plus the large UK Brazilian population plus I presume transit traffic from Portugal and Italy, how the GRU service has fared since restarting?

I am planning to fly LHR-GIG in January and also wanted to know how likely it is to go ahead?

Thanks all,

FC
I am flying to Brazil every month at the moment as my partner lives there.

Last month I flew LHR-GRU with BA

Outbound there were 12 in Club, 6 in WT+ and WT was about 40% full but inflated as a large number of Indian crew were travelling to join a cruise ship in Brazil.

Returning, I heard the CSM say it was 1,14,6,55 in terms of passengers in each class - 1 (first), 14 (club), 6 (WT+) and 55 economy.

At GRU there was a temperature check. No quarantine. No test. You must have travel insurance with COVID cover. I used Battleface.

In November my flight to GIG was cancelled with quite short notice. I am travelling to GRU at the end of the week and can see the club cabin is 50% full out and back. It is a 788 not a 789 as last month.

In December I am travelling to GIG for Christmas returning in Jan. This is Spring now in Brazil and the GIG flight looks very busy around Christmas in Club and when I return on 9th Jan.
However in reality I have no idea if the flight will operate or not.
If GIG cancels they will put you on the GRU flight but will not pay a connection if an Avios ticket ( this upset me!)

I have spent a LONG time researching other options.

Many connection times are extended at the moment as there are fewer connecting flights operational.

KLM fly daytime to GIG with a short connection at AMS and I found this is bookable with Virgin points. Returning though there is a 6 hr connection at AMS at the moment.

AF fly overnight via CDG with a 3 hour connection outbound and a 6 hr connection on return currently.

TAP has been mentioned by other respondents.

AZUL is interesting - their business class gets good reviews. They fly from Lisbon to Santos Dumont in Rio via Viracopolis daytime.

You can buy an Azul business class single for £480 to SDU from LIS however it seems impossible to buy a through ticket from other destinations - you need to buy separate tickets which means you need to build in connection time at LIS which prob means an overnight.
Remember that luggage must be collected and re-checked at first port of entry in Brazil. So a tight connection arriving to Brazil isn't viable with luggage.
The Azul fare bobs up and down every few days but normally will return to £481 after a few days.
The £481 fare is often available on Bravofly for £367 single which is a super bargain of course
I was sorely tempted by this but in the end the combination of buying from a travel agent with a flight with an overnight connection and picking up luggage mid-stream was simply too much hassle.

The flight I eventually booked was IBZ-GRU-MAD which came in a £1100 return in Club as I had reason to go to IBZ (MAD-GRU return with BA is the same price) in the current sale. Spain seems to be the cheapest starting point in the sale for Brazilian services in Club (and you can also get one-way Club fares from Spain which are not extortionate). So GRU is often £1100 return in this sale but GIG is expensive. So I went to GRU and bought a connection to SDU (Santos Domont) which is in the city and approaches around the Sugar Loaf mountain. However Spain is of course under a national emergency at the moment. When BA cancelled the IBZ and MAD sectors they let me start and finish in London. However I think I have been a bit lucky with that one!

BTW beaches in Rio de Janeiro state are not officially open at the moment (so no chairs but still a million people), beaches in Sao Paolo state are open with social distancing re chairs.

When I travel on Friday I am not staying at a Hilton as I normally do but at the Sheraton Rio Grande which is in Sao Conrado walkable to Leblon but importantly is a hotel with a pool sitting on a beach in a secluded area.

I was in Sao Paulo and Santos last month (I found Santos fascinating with an interesting ageing port, great beach and super new Sheraton). The Brazilian approach to COVID is very different to Europe - the approach is to keep open (except cinemas, large events) but protect fully. Rules vary by state but normally masks are required in the street, you have your temperature checked entering every building and have sanitiser squirted into your hand whether you ask or not, disinfectant floor mats, restaurant staff with masks AND visors, common surfaces such as credit card terminals disinfected before and after use, unable to try on clothes in shops. It felt thorough and safer than the UK

When you look at the stats - new COVID infections over a rolling 7-day period are half the current UK rate but there are three states in the North-East where there is a serious COVID issue.

However the approach of keeping open means that public transport and street areas can be very very busy - on Sao Paulo metro it suddenly filled up and I emerged in the Japanese zone which was literally packed and I felt very very unsafe surrounded by so many people in close proximity (with masks) and eventually said to my partner "get me out of here". After this I changed my approach and limited my trips to routes I researched and at quiet times of day, maybe going by Uber which is very cheap.

If you want more info about Brazil at the moment then PM me... I have been researching this all for weeks now and my fiance lives there currently for his PHD

Oh and remember if you buy an Avios ticket FROM GRU or GIG then you pay approx £8 tax single even in Club but need to phone to book it.

Do have fun on your travels!

PS if you look at BA Source you will see that quite often GRU gets a second cargo service maybe 2-3 times per week which I find intriguing but maybe is of little relevance to your needs!!
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Last edited by WeLoveSpace; Oct 31, 20 at 2:47 am Reason: typo, final point re £8 tax
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Old Oct 31, 20, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by WeLoveSpace View Post

At GRU there was a temperature check. No quarantine. No test. You must have travel insurance with COVID cover. I used Battleface.
!
There is no more requirement for travel insurance--though certainly it is a good idea to have, but that was suspended earlier in October.
Thank you for all this information, as I am going in about three weeks (to Rio from the US).
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Old Oct 31, 20, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by travelingdrsuz View Post
There is no more requirement for travel insurance--though certainly it is a good idea to have, but that was suspended earlier in October.
Thank you for all this information, as I am going in about three weeks (to Rio from the US).
Indeed, I passed through GRU 3 times over last month. The service to GRU seems very empty though on the way back considerably busier (LH that is). I am now contemplating BA or LA for my GRU-LHR-GRU and LA is about 400gbp cheaper in J but would earn no TPs... recommendations?
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Old Oct 31, 20, 4:20 am
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Originally Posted by nufnuf77 View Post
Indeed, I passed through GRU 3 times over last month. The service to GRU seems very empty though on the way back considerably busier (LH that is). I am now contemplating BA or LA for my GRU-LHR-GRU and LA is about 400gbp cheaper in J but would earn no TPs... recommendations?
£400 is a reasonable amount to save. Never flew with LA long haul but from reviews online it looks totally fine?
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Old Oct 31, 20, 4:28 am
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Originally Posted by nufnuf77 View Post
Indeed, I passed through GRU 3 times over last month. The service to GRU seems very empty though on the way back considerably busier (LH that is). I am now contemplating BA or LA for my GRU-LHR-GRU and LA is about 400gbp cheaper in J but would earn no TPs... recommendations?
I looked at LATAM too but was put off by the seating configuration 2-2-2 in business which gives little privacy. Look at some of the video reviews which will guide your thinking.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by WeLoveSpace View Post
I looked at LATAM too but was put off by the seating configuration 2-2-2 in business which gives little privacy. Look at some of the video reviews which will guide your thinking.
I flew them without hesittion whilst they were OW, because i like the open air feel of 2-2-2. they recently actually got brand new excellent J on some new aircrafts as well.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by WeLoveSpace View Post
I looked at LATAM too but was put off by the seating configuration 2-2-2 in business which gives little privacy. Look at some of the video reviews which will guide your thinking.
And you find the 2-4-2 in CW better for privacy? Also as far as I know the new J seat (Latam) has taken very good reviews but not sure how many planes currently have it. Same applies for CS.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by ermis177 View Post
And you find the 2-4-2 in CW better for privacy? Also as far as I know the new J seat (Latam) has taken very good reviews but not sure how many planes currently have it. Same applies for CS.
Without wishing to descend this into a seating thread, a CW window seat is undoubtedly far better for privacy than the Latam J seat.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
Without wishing to descend this into a seating thread, a CW window seat is undoubtedly far better for privacy than the Latam J seat.
I agree on that but thatís only for 2 out of 8 seats per row.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by ermis177 View Post
And you find the 2-4-2 in CW better for privacy? Also as far as I know the new J seat (Latam) has taken very good reviews but not sure how many planes currently have it. Same applies for CS.
When LATAM went shopping for its new business class seat, one objective was to deploy the seat on all its long haul aircraft. An admiral approach, but sadly when you're still operating 767s, this severely limits your options thus LATAM is saddled with the Vantage XL which unfortunately isn't the best seat available on the market. Annoyingly narrow, it is further compromised by not having armrests - a prerequisite for any flight longer than say 4 hours.
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Old Oct 31, 20, 9:51 am
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120 on last night's 247 to GRU. Only half a dozen-ish in the 56 seats in a 773 J cabin.
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