Azul E-195. Courtesy, Embraer

Brazil’s antitrust agency, CADE, has approved the merger between Azul and TRIP Linhas Aereas. The new joint carrier will become the third largest in Brazil after market leaders TAM Airlines and GOL. 

TRIP ATR 72-600. Courtesy photo

Azul and TRIP operate a combined fleet of 118 aircraft and fly to 102 domestic destinations. According to the National Civil Aviation Agency, the two carriers make up 16.4% of Brazil’s domestic market share. 

CADE is requiring TRIP and TAM Airlines to cease their codeshare agreement, and that Azul and TRIP operate at least 85% of their joint slots at Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport. 

The two airlines announced their intent to merge in May 2012. Azul’s founder and CEO David Neeleman told local media the airline is now working to enhance the route network, “increasing new flights, routes and frequencies in all capital cities and regions” of Brazil.