Virgin Atlantic to fly between UK & Brazil as of 2020

Following in the jet stream o Norwegian, it is now the turn of Virgin Atlantic to announce direct flights between the UK and Brazil. In this case a daily service as of 2020 from London Heathrow to São Paulo using the Boeing 787-9, Dreamliner, with an Upper Class, Premium and Economy Delight, Classic and Light offering.

This will be Virgin’s first South American route and it will join British Airways and LATAM Airlines in flying the London-São Paulo route direct, making Heathrow a very competitive hub to travel to-and-from Brazil and the rest of the south of South America.

Norwegian is scheduled to start flying direct to-and-from Rio de Janeiro and London Gatwick as of 31 March 2019. Norwegian will also use the Dreamliner. Briitish Airways also offers a daily direct service from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian directors head for Cannes

Two Brazilian directors will have their films screened in the official section of this year’s Festival de Cannes

Carlos Diegues, who has had three films screen in competition at Cannes, will receive a special screening and the world premiere of his latest film “O Grande Circo Místico” (The Great Mystical Circus – photo). In 2012 Diegues’was chair of the Caméra d’or jury.

Sao Paulo born, LA based director Joe Penna, better known to his You Tube followers as Mystery Guitar Man, is to get a special midnight screening of his first feature, the thriller “Arctic” which stars Mads Mikkelsen, who headlined NBC’s Hannibal series.

Joe Penna

Rio – São Paulo still the busiest route in the Americas

The one-hour flight between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo is again the busiest airline route in the Americas, new research by Routesonline has found.

More than four million people travelled the 378 km between São Paulo Congonhas (CGH) and Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) over the past 12 months, putting it comfortably at number one in the rankings.

With an average of 110 flights per day – or one every 13 minutes – the short hop connects São Paulo  with Rio de Janeiro. The route is served by GOL Linhas Aereas, LATAM Airlines Brasil and Avianca Brasil, with the three airlines having a 42 percent, 40 percent and 18 percent capacity share of the market respectively. The average base fare for the journey is $93.

Routesonline’s research used OAG’s Schedules Analyser to identify the top 200 routes in North and South America by capacity from 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017. The routes were then ranked by passenger figures using data provided by Sabre Airline Solutions over the same time period.

The second busiest route in the Americas connects the capital of Mexico with the tourist hotspot of Cancún. Almost 3.7 million passengers travelled the 1,294 km between Mexico City Juarez (MEX) and Cancun (CUN), with the average cost of a ticket $72.

At number three in the rankings is Los Angeles International (LAX) – New York J F Kennedy (JFK). More than 2.8 million passengers travelled between the east and west coast cities. The average price of a ticket for the flight was $338, making it the most expensive in the top 20. Two other domestic routes completed the top five, with Mexico City Juarez (MEX) – Monterrey Mariano Escobedo (MTY) at number four and Lima (LIM) – Cuzco (CUZ) in fifth.

Another Brazilian domestic route, São Paulo Congonhas (CGH) – Brasilia (BSB), is at number 11 on the list, handling nearly 1.9 million passengers each year.

2016 Olympic stores open

foto2_rio2016.jpgRio 2016 has opened a gift shop at Terminal 1 of Rio’s International Airport. Open from 6 am until 11 pm the shop sells various Olympic and Paralympic-related merchandise, such as clothes, hats, and beach towels as well as soft-toy versions of the Rio 2016 mascots, Vinicius and Tom.

The Rio Airport shop is the first of a series that will be open at airports: Rio’s Santos Dumont will have a shop soon, as will the airports in São Paulo. Apart from the airport’s new store, there are a number of sites around Rio where official products are already on sale, such as the Tijuca campus of the Estácio de Sá University and the city centre.

You can also access the Rio 2016 Brazilian online store, which has an exclusive range of toys. Prices vary from from caps costing R$49 (US$15) to 45cm soft toys at R$139,90 (US$45).

By 2016, an expected 12,000 products will be available, with the expectation that these items will generate around R$1billion in Brazilian retail sales.

Olympic merchandise will eventually be available at 150 official Rio 2016 stores and at more than 40,000 sales points across Brazil.

TAM moves terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport

tam-b777-in-flightTAM Airlines, Brazil’s major international carrier, moved its operations on 27 May at London’s Heathrow Airport from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 where it joins a number of other oneWorld partners.

As a member of oneWorld, TAM’s passengers flying in business or with the right card, will be able to use the British Airways’ lounge in the terminal.

TAM currently offers a daily service between London and São Paulo with connecting onward services, including to Rio de Janeiro. British Airways offers daily direct services to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo from London Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

Art for Art’s Sake – The Contemporary Galleries of São Paulo

66348498_bigFollowing the listing of the most interesting contemporary and modern art galleries in Rio de Janeiro, we have been asked if we had a similar list for São Paulo.

Ao we have asked our good friends at Ronya, one of Brazil’s leading experts in sourcing, acquiring, and maintaining art, to come up with some suggestions of the commercial art galleries in São Paulo where you can find some of the best and most interesting contemporary and modern Brazilian art and discover new emerging talents.

Ronya’s pick for São Paulo is:

Jardins

Vila Madalena

Pinheiros

Santa Cecília

Itaim

Vila Olímpia

Butantã

Morumbi

Vila Mariana

BA-SP-4

FIFA confirms football venues for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

FutebolIt has been confirmed that the Rio 2016 Olympic Games men’s and women’s football tournaments will take place in six cities: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Manaus, Brasília and Belo Horizonte. It has also been decided that the 58 matches will be staged at: Corinthians Arena (São Paulo), the Maracanã and Olympic Stadium (Rio de Janiero), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador), Mané Garrincha Stadium (Brasília), Amazônia Arena (Manaus) and the Mineirão (Belo Horizonte).

“The inclusion of Manaus (photo) in the Rio 2016 Olympic schedule will enrich the tournament with a visit of the football players to one of the most iconic locations in the world,” said Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman. “I am certain that the Amazon will welcome the Olympic world with a memorable celebration.”

Football is the only sport that will be hosted outside of Rio de Janeiro, with the tournament taking the Rio 2016 Games out to the rest of Brazil. There will be 16 teams in the men’s competition and 12 in the women’s tournament.

Marco Polo Del Nero, chairman of the FIFA Organising Committee for the Olympic Football Tournaments, said: “The Olympic football tournaments will be a fantastic opportunity to revive the great atmosphere seen during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, not only in Rio de Janeiro, but also in the other five cities. They did an excellent job in 2014, and now they can use the World Cup stadiums and infrastructure already in place to unite the country for a major event once more. I am confident that the participating teams will have an unforgettable Olympic experience.”

arenaamazonia_fev2014-21Two South American teams are already confirmed in the Rio 2016 men’s football competition: Brazil, as host country, and Argentina, as the winners of the South American under-20 championship. In the women’s tournament, Colombia confirmed their place, along with hosts Brazil, by finishing runners-up in last year’s Copa America. All the remaining places will be decided by April 2016.

The men’s Olympic football competition features players up to the age of 23 (born after 31 December 1992), with the exception of three ‘over-age’ players per nation. The16 teams will be divided into four groups of four and the competition will begin on 4 August, one day before the Olympic Games opening ceremony. The two best-performing members of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 20 August, a day before the closing ceremony, at the Maracanã Stadium.

In the women’s competition there are no age restrictions. The 12 teams will be split into three groups of four, and matches will start on 3 August. The top two teams in each group and the two best third-placed teams will progress to the quarter-finals. The final will be played on 19 August, also at the Maracanã Stadium.

LATAM opens its new airport lounge in São Paulo

15455946609_6b2c783ca2_zThe LATAM Airline Group has opened its new VIP lounge at the new Terminal 3 in São Paulo International Airport in Guarulhos, that will benefit pasengers connecting to-and-from Rio de Janeiro over São Paulo.

The lounge is for passengers flying with TAM or LAN in business or first, as well as passengers flying on oneworld alliance members that include British Airways, American, and Iberia.

The lounge covers an area of 1.800 m², and can accommodate 450 passengers at any one time. It operates daily from 05.00 to midnight.

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Top Latin American Restaurants 2014

AwardsVirgilio Martinez’s Central, in Lima, Peru, has taken the top spot amongst Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 with last year’s winner Astrid y Gaston moving into second place. Central, which earned the title of The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Latin America, climbed three places from last year. Central, under the leadership of chef-owner Martinez, was also named The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Peru.

Gaston Acurio, who recently opened La Mar in Miami and relocated his 20 year old flagship restaurant Astrid y Gaston to San Isidro, Lima was number two on the list. The 2013 winner was also ranked No.18 in this year’s S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

D.O.M. and Maní, both in São Paulo Brazil, were ranked in third and fourth place respectively. Chilean restaurant Boragó was placed fifth. Boragó and D.O.M. were presented with The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Chile and The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Brazil awards respectively.

Other Best Restaurant Awards by country were given to: Pujol in Mexico (No.6 in the list); Tegui in Argentina (No.9); Parador La Huella in Uruguay (No.17); Alto in Venezuela (No.18); Gustu in Bolivia (No.32); and Criterion in Colombia (No.39).

From Rio, Roberta Sudbrack was ranked 13th and Olympe was 35th.

As well as the top restaurant awards, individual awards were also presented during the event. The One To Watch Award went to Ambrosía from Chile; the Veuve Clicquot Latin America’s Best Female Chef Award was presented to Elena Reygadas from Rosetta, Mexico; the Highest Climber Award, went to El Baqueano in Argentina; the Highest New Entry Award, sponsored went to Tarquino also in Argentina; The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Alex Atala from D.O.M., Brazil; and the Chefs’ Choice Award went to Peru’s Gastón Acurio. The 2014 awards introduced a new category: Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef, which was presented to Buenos Aires-based chef Osvaldo Gross.

Here’s are Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants according to the awards:

1. Central Lima, Peru
2. Astrid y Gastón Lima, Peru
3. D.O.M. São Paulo, Brazil
4. Maní São Paulo, Brazil
5. Boragó Santiago, Chile
6. Pujol Mexico City, Mexico
7. Maido Lima, Peru
8. Biko Mexico City, Mexico
9. Tegui Buenos Aires, Argentina
10. Quintonil Mexico City, Mexico
11. Malabar Lima, Peru
12. Mocoto São Paulo, Brazil
13. Roberta Sudbrack Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
14. Aramburu Buenos Aires, Argentina
15. La Mar Lima, Peru
16. Tarquino Buenos Aires, Argentina
17. Parador La Huella José Ignacio, Uruguay
18. El Baqueano Buenos Aires, Argentina
19. Pangea Monterrey, Mexico
20. Fiesta Lima, Peru
21. Chila Buenos Aires, Argentina
22. La Cabrera Buenos Aires, Argentina
23. Tomo 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina
24. Sud 777 Mexico City, Mexico
25. Manzanilla Ensenada, Mexico
26. MeroToro Mexico City, Mexico
27. Rafael Lima, Peru
28. Alto Caracas, Venezuela
29. Oviedo Buenos Aires, Argentina
30. Osaka Santiago, Chile
31. La Picanteria Lima, Peru
32. Gustu La Paz, Bolivia
33. Rosetta Mexico City, Mexico
34. Remanso Do Bosque Belém, Brazil
35. Olympe Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
36. Epice São Paulo, Brazil
37. Ambrosía Santiago, Chile
38. Attimo São Paulo, Brazil
39. Criterión Bogotá, Colombia
40. Francis Mallman 1884 Mendoza, Argentina
41. Amaranta Toluca, Mexico
42. Corazón de Tierra Ensenada, Mexico
43. Harry Sasson Bogotá, Colombia
44. Fasano São Paulo, Brazil
45. La Bourgogne Punta del Este, Uruguay
46. El Cielo Bogotá, Colombia
47. Sucre Buenos Aires, Argentina
48. Elena Buenos Aires, Argentina
49. Leo Cocina y Cava Bogotá, Colombia
50. Pura Tierra Buenos Aires, Argentina

More airlines move into Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.04.41Opened in May 2014, the new Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport continues to expand. During August 2014 four more airlines moved to the new terminal. These included Air France, British Airways, KLM, and Iberia. They join Air Canada, Alitalia, China Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Lufthansa, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Airlines, TAP, Turkish and United, that have already moved their operations to the new terminal. The main Brazilian carrier, TAM, will move later in the year by which time 80% of the airport’s international flights will be using the terminal.

While many carriers fly direct to Rio de Janeiro, many others choose to offer connecting international flights to-and-from Rio over São Paulo.

A number of new shops and restaurants have also opened including landside in the new terminal including the first Brazilian branch of Red Lobster which is located in the hallway that links Terminal 3 and 2. Other food options include Garrets, Carl’s Jr., Jimmy’s Buffet Margaritaville Ráscal, Viena Snacks, Desfruti, Olive Garden, Piola Piola and Casa Bauduco.

Stores include the bookshop Saraiva, FNAC, and airside, along GRU Avenue, can be found Amsterdam Sauer, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Track & Field, Coach, Burberry, Emporio Armani and Victoria’s Secret.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.04.58Star Alliance has also opened its new Lounge. About 1,350 square meters in size, the lounge can accommodate up to 295 guests and is open daily from 12.00 noon to 03.00. Access is for passengers traveling on Star Alliance member airlines from Guarulhos in First or Business Class or holding Star Alliance Gold Status. The lounge is located on the mezzanine level, overlooking the atrium and the airport apron beyond, and can easily be reached by escalators or elevators.

In line with the new Star Alliance lounge concept, local touches and flavours have been combined with global branding elements. This has allowed for the creation of a very Brazilian look and feel, reflecting a strong artesian heritage. The use of wood, rope, natural fibers and typical ceramic finishing bring coziness to a sophisticated interior and provides a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere to customers.

The lounge was developed and is operated by In Flight Solutions Brasil on behalf of the Star Alliance. For those wishing to work, free Wi-Fi access is provided throughout the lounge, with convenient power and USB outlets available. A dedicated business center and free Wi-Fi printing is also provided.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 12.05.36