The Business Times

Airport problems not a big issue, says Brazil

Published Wed, Jun 4, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[SAO PAULO] Brazil's government on Tuesday played down problems with its ageing airports, many of which are being renovated even as the World Cup looms from next week.

But with many projects running behind schedule, the government stressed the transport overhaul is being done with an eye to the long-term future, not the next month. "The new objective is to have new airports for the country," said Aviation Minister Wellington Moreira Franco. "I can assure you we are prepared" for the World Cup, he said in a radio broadcast while admitting, "it is clear we have problems."

But the minister insisted that Brazil could cope with the expected influx of soccer tourists - more than three million from across Brazil and another 600,000 from across the globe - in the weeks ahead. "In Salvador (in the north-east), for example, we received some three million passengers for the Carnival, far more than for the Cup, and we served their needs well."

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