Eduardo Busch, CEO VOEPASS, tells Graham Newton that Brazilian regulation should support the needs of regional aviation.
What is your strategy for the airline and how will you grow in future?
We will continue acting as a feeder for the major Brazilian airlines, acting as a capillary for passengers to get to and from their destination.
In Brazil we have many unserved markets, and many others served by only one operator. The VOEPASS strategy is to grow these opportunities.
Does the government understand the value of aviation and is the regional plan working?
Brazil is a large country with a continental dimension. The new government is working to create a plan to develop regional aviation. They now understand that regional aviation services are an important part of the infrastructure that will help to develop our diverse regions.
What changes do we need in Brazilian regulation, particularly in regard to consumer protection and fuel prices?
Both issues are sensitive for airlines. On the fuel side, a part of the problem comes from fuel tax. Right now, we are probably dealing with the highest fuel prices in the world, and in regional aviation that means the impact is even greater. We are seeking solutions with Brazilian states to reduce or eliminate the fuel tax for regional operations.
On the consumer protection side, Brazil probably has the highest number of legal claims in the world. It is not acceptable and creates an extra cost for all passengers. But the law recently had some changes made it that should lessen the company's exposure and we believe that the consumer complaint curve will be reduced.
How important are sustainability issues to the airline and what more can be done to secure supplies of sustainable aviation fuels?
We believe sustainability is a key element for all sectors in the immediate future. Internally, we've managed to negate all the corporate headquarters' carbon footprint on the electricity side.
As for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), we need a regulation that provides an incentive for SAF production so that airlines are offered more options at a better cost.
What other challenges do you see for aviation going forward?
There was a production bottleneck caused by the pandemic. Delays are occurring not only in aircraft production but also in vehicles and other industries affecting aviation services. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved coming months and years.
Staff shortages is also an important issue for the industry. We are creating incentives do retain our employes and reduce staff turnover.
Can smaller carriers make their voice heard on global issues?
It is a fact that smaller airlines are a long way away from the big discussions. That is why we rely on IATA as a representative of our needs in this matter.