Brasilia International Airport, known officially by the rather long-winded name Brasilia-Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport (BSB), serves the capital city of Brasilia in central Brazil. Located seven miles (11km) outside the city, the airport is the main hub for the interior of Brazil and processes more than 14 million passengers each year.
Acting as more of a regional hub than an international destination, flights to Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport come mostly from other Brazilian and South American cities, with a few connections from North America (Atlanta and Miami) and Europe (Lisbon).
Known as one of the best airports in Brazil, the facility has a reputation for cleanliness and efficiency. Bonus offerings like movie theaters and gardens add to the attractions, although you’re unlikely to spend time here on a stopover unless you’re connecting from one of the smaller Brazilian airports. The only major complaints are a lack of transport options into the city.
Like all Brazilian airports however, the facilities are in the midst of an upgrade ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. A new second terminal has already been added.
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Rio de Janeiro-Galeao International Airport, better known as Galeao International Airport (GIG), is one of the busiest airports in Brazil. Galeao is Portuguese for galleon, and the airport is named for Galleon Beach, where the majestic ship Padre Eterno was built in 1663.
Located 13 miles (20km) from central Rio de Janeiro, the airport is a favorite gateway for travelers looking to soak up the sun on Copacabana Beach or party the night away during Carnival. Its proximity to such a major international tourism destination means you can find flights to Galeao International Airport from all over the world, including local connections from Salvador da Bahia, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Vitora; and international ones from most major European and North American cities including London, Paris, Amsterdam, New York and Washington DC.
With the addition of the second terminal in 1999, the airport increased its capacity to 7.5 million passengers annually, though it is currently handling more than 12 million each year. This adds up to long queues for everything from security to coffee, and a lack of seating in the departure lounges. However, the airport is currently beefing up its terminals and infrastructure in a big way ahead of Rio de Janeiro hosting the World Cup in 2014.
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Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), officially called Governador Andre Franco Montoro International Airport, is Sao Paulo’s main international gateway. Located about 18 miles (25km) northeast of Sao Paulo, it is Brazil’s busiest airport, serving almost 27 million passengers in 2010. However, the airport was also rated as having the third-highest number of flight delays among major international airports, with 25 percent of all flights experiencing delays greater than 15 minutes.
Fortunately, these frustrations should soon come to an end as the airport is undergoing extensive development in order to prepare for Brazil’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Plans include the construction of a third runway and a third terminal, as well as an express railway line linking Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International to the city center.
Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport is work in progress. Queues and delays are common and the terminals are in dire need of a makeover. Rest assured, though; 2014 will see the airport rising up to meet international airport standards.
Flights to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport come from destinations around the world, including Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Toronto, Beijing, Paris, Dubai, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and New York.
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