Airlines warn travel chaos could mean fans miss World Cup games

Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Latin America's biggest airlines warned of flight delays and diversions during the soccer World Cup in Brazil as travelers pour into the country's already overcrowded airports, causing some fans to be late for matches or even miss them.

"The problem is going to be that you're not going to have a place to land the plane, so you're going to spend three hours flying in circles," said Brazilian German Efromovich, who controls Colombian airline Avianca, at an air show in Santiago on Thursday.

"And then you fly to another city 300 kilometers away and put the passengers on a bus and they arrive to the game after it's over."

"Then let's see what happens," Efromovich said.

The carriers are concerned that fans will blame them for any logistical problems that cause them to miss games they have paid out hundreds of dollars to attend in the event which kicks off June 12.

"I don't know who's going to win the games, but the airlines are going to lose with the World Cup," said Enrique Cueto, chief executive of the region's largest carrier, LATAM Airlines.

"If you do things right with operations you can wind up with a draw," he said. "You get it wrong and you don't get to a game on time and you'll soon see what you get."

Airlines have already flagged concerns about potential fines from the Brazilian government over delayed flights and lost bags.

Many of Brazil's biggest airports are running beyond capacity after years of neglect by state operator Infraero.

With the clock ticking down before kickoff in 2-1/2 months, Brazil's busiest airport in Sao Paulo is still racing to finish a new terminal and other airports are preparing temporary tents to receive the influx of passengers.

"I think it's going to cost the industry, but it's OK, it's going to be a wonderful spectacle," said Cueto.

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Felipe Iturrieta; Editing by Richard Chang)

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Ruthless Chelsea fight back to sink Man City

      Ruthless Chelsea fight back to sink Man City

      Chelsea came from behind to secure a dramatic 3-1 win at Manchester City and forge clear at the top of the Premier League as their top-of-the-table clash ended in a mass brawl and two City players were sent off on Saturday. Diego Costa, the … More »

      Reuters - 11 minutes ago
    • Rain and sorrow accentuate memorial for dead at Brazil club

      The accident Monday in the Colombian Andes claimed most of the team's players and staff as it headed to the finals of one of Latin America's most important club tournaments. ''I've been here since early morning,'' said Chaiane Lorenzetti, a … More »

      AP - Sports - 39 minutes ago
    • Conte and Chelsea beat Guardiola and Manchester City 3-1 in battle of managers

      Conte and Chelsea beat Guardiola and Manchester City 3-1 in battle of managers

      Take a look at Chelsea and Manchester City this season, however, and the impact of an elite manager is obvious. Because when they faced each other at the Etihad on Saturday morning, a 3-1 win stolen by an outplayed but efficient Chelsea, the … More »

      FC Yahoo - 1 hour 10 minutes ago
    • Rooney, Shearer make pleas amid sex-abuse scandal

      Rooney, Shearer make pleas amid sex-abuse scandal

      Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer, England captains present and past, have urged soccer players to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse amid the growing scandal in the British game. Rooney joined with other current captains of various English … More »

      The Canadian Press - 1 hour 57 minutes ago
    • Agency denies tax evasion by Ronaldo and Mourinho

      Agency denies tax evasion by Ronaldo and Mourinho

      The soccer agency Gestifute has denied that clients including Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho are involved in any tax evasion after a media consortium reported that they had used tax havens to handle … More »

      Reuters - 2 hours 9 minutes ago