The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration has approved Brazilian airline Azul to begin flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport starting December 2.
Former JetBlue founder and current Azul CEO David Neeleman -- who was raised in Miami -- has led the airline for the past six years, flying to more than 100 destinations throughout his native Brazil.
"Azul is the one airline that truly serves all of Brazil. With 104 destinations throughout the country, Azul unites Brazil with convenient and frequent connections from Campinas," said Neeleman through a news release. "We now look forward to providing U.S. customers with our superior service on international flights, just as we have been doing today on our 850 daily domestic flights. We're excited to share the Azul experience with new customers internationally and expand the airline's success story beyond Brazil's borders."
Azul Brazilian Airlines - Airbus A330-200 - Salvador Airport (SBSV) Brazil pic.twitter.com/agcNW4NdiE— Rubens Custodio (@CustodioRubens) November 18, 2014
Azul, which has grown into Brazil's third-largest airline, recently built a $1.5 billion terminal at São Paulo/Campinas International Airport, which will now serve as the hub for daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale International Airport and the São Paulo/Campinas airport.
Starting December 2, flights will depart Fort Lauderdale at 7 p.m., arriving the next day at São Paulo/Campinas at 6:20 a.m., with returning flights leaving Brazil at 11:27 p.m. and arriving the following day at Fort Lauderdale at 5 a.m.
In additions, travelers will be able to connect to other destinations, including Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Iguacu Falls.
Azul will also have flights to and from Orlando International beginning on December 15.
The airline says economy class airfare will start from $888 round-trip, including fees and taxes.
According to Flight Global, Azul will offer full-service meals and amenity kits in both business and economy class. Customers will get access to snack bars through the flights and in-flight entertainment in the form of movies and music.
The airline currently operates one-third of Brazil's daily departures with a fleet of 145 aircraft serving 104 destinations throughout Brazil. Azul employs 10,000 people and has been named best low-cost carrier in South America four years in a row by Skytrax. The airline was also named Best Low Cost Carrier in the World by CAPA in 2012 and is recognized by FlightStats as having the best on-time performance in Latin America.