The IBGE study looked at airfare costs, but also the most likely passenger-related problems. It mapped the highest-frequency routes in the country, where the majority of flights are concentrated. Of the 877 registered flights in the country in 2010, practically 50% of the passenger air traffic concentrated itself in 24 pairs of cities. The stretches that connect São Paulo with the six principal metropolises (Rio, Brasília, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba) was responsible for 25% of the total passengers transported — 71,750,986 people in 2010.
For the coordinator of the study, Marcelo Paiva Motta, the concentration of connections represents disadvantages for the passengers from some Brazilian regions. “The concentration may cut travel costs, but it depends on what smaller cities have a higher number of connections, a measure that lessens the passengers’ access, because travel time becomes longer,” he explained.
In 2010, 135 of 5,565 Brazilian counties had airports. The demographic and economic importance make São Paulo the main concentrator of passenger flow in the country, followed by Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. Despite the concentration, in spacial terms, the country is well-covered, according to Mota.
The study also shows that air cargo transport is even more concentrated, due to elevated costs. More than half the traffic occurs in 10 pairs of connections. São Paulo-Manaus led the air cargo movement, with a total volume of 99,344 thousand kg. The São Paulo-Recife connection comes in 4th place, with 17,085 thousand kg. In the top 10 is Recife-Fortaleza (9th place) at 7,557 thousand kg.
In Marcelo Paiva Motta’s opinion, the data may help in the creation of public policies to improve the accessibility of cities that are less favored in terms of aerial connections and solve the problem of places where the distance of the airports is far or hard to access.