British Airways is continuing its commitment to Brazil by doubling its weekly frequency to Rio de Janeiro from three to six flights.
Neil Cottrell, British Airways’ head of network planning, said: “We are experiencing a real increase in demand for Rio and by doubling the number of frequencies, we are able to offer our customers more choice and greater availability. Brazil is also experiencing strong economic growth and this capacity increase is a great opportunity for British Airways to be part of that growth.”
Flights will now depart Heathrow for Rio every day, except Mondays. The departure time remains at 12.15pm, landing in Rio at 9.55pm local time.
The flight will continue to be served by a three class B777, enabling customers to choose from World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premier economy) and the airline’s fully flat beds in Club World (business class).
Earlier this month, British Airways and Iberia announced the immediate start of codesharing on a new tranche of one another’s flights. This included BA putting its code on Iberia flights from Madrid to San Jose (Costa Rica) and Panama City and Iberia adding its code to BA’s Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Muscat services. Iberia has also added its code onto British Airways’ services to Cape Town and both airlines are now sharing their Johannesburg flights. Iberia’s flights to Havana also started carrying the BA code on April 15.
Brazil’s most popular city is neither its capital nor its largest. Located between the Atlantic and one of the world’s most impressive mountain ranges, Rio de Janeiro is widely regarded as a breathtaking centre for semi-tropical beach life and immense parties. With several of the world’s greatest beached in its commercial core, it’s very much a city that breathes beach life and athleticism.
It’s also, unfortunately, a city with a fairly deserved reputation for crime and danger. Rio’s extensive collection of slums and substandard housing communities have contributed somewhat, alongside its great deal of social issues. Known as ‘favelas’ to residents, the city’s slum communities stretch into the distance, illuminating the base of the many mountains and cliffs that lock in the city centre.
But how dangerous is it for you, the tourist? While violent crime rates in Rio de Janeiro are some of the world’s highest, they’re a fairly inaccurate measure of its safety for visitors. Most tourists remain within a defined and specific area during their visit, a reality that can make citywide statistics all but completely irrelevant when it comes to measuring tourist safety.
Petty crime, however, remains a major concern for tourists. Outside of its commercial core, Rio can become a fairly deserted city during the night. Drug dealers and gangs are common in areas known for nightlife, and petty thievery is a concern for tourists who adopt a ‘wealthy’ dress sense. Tourists are advised to dress modestly, removing the temptation for thieves and would-be muggers.
The situation, while far from ideal, isn’t the crime apocalypse that a number of publishers make it out to be. At the same time, however, Rio de Janeiro is a city that’s home to social issues and large pockets of limited safety. While its reputation for questionable safety and violent crime is deserved, it’s unlikely to interfere with most tourism activity in the city.