UPDATE 1-Second Brazilian airline pledges cap on World Cup airfare

Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:13pm EST

SAO PAULO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Avianca Brasil became the
second Brazilian airline to cap the cost of traveling during
this year's World Cup on Tuesday, putting more pressure on the
country's two biggest carriers to do the same.
    Avianca will not charge more than 999 reais ($420) for
domestic flights from February to July, Chief Executive José
Efromovich told reporters. Rival airline Azul pledged the same
ceiling for airfares in June and July, when Brazil hosts the
global soccer tournament.
    The head of Brazilian tourism agency Embratur, Flavio Dino,
applauded the move by Avianca and Azul in a Tuesday release,
urging other airlines to follow suit.
    Gol Linhas Aereas and TAM, the local unit of
Chile's Latam Airlines Group, came under fire last year
when the government noticed ticket prices soaring during the
World Cup.
   
    Some of that tension could ease starting on Thursday, when
ANAC is expected to authorize about 1,500 new domestic flights
for the World Cup, expanding travel options between cities
hosting games, which should provide some relief for prices.
    Avianca requested 430 of those additional routes, Efromovich
said on Tuesday, part of the airline's plans to expand its
Brazilian network by 19 percent this year. 
    TAM, Brazil's biggest airline, is also loading up on extra
routes for the World Cup. The carrier announced on Tuesday that
it had requested permission for 850 new domestic flights and
over 200 additional international flights in June and July.
    The new flights will cost more then 50 million reais to
operate, TAM said, in addition to the cost of hiring and
training over 1,000 temporary employees.