Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Sao Paulo Viracopos) is looking at establishing a hub in Montevideo, Uruguay to cater to South America's Southern Cone region El Observador newspaper has reported.

Sources who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity said representatives from the Brazilian budget carrier led by president Antonoaldo Neves met with officials from the Uruguayan Ministry of Transport to discuss their plans. Among the objectives is to base between six and eight aircraft out of Montevideo's Carrasco Airport for use on regional passenger flights.

Uruguayan Minister of Transport Victor Rossi later confirmed the talks but noted that no Alas Uruguay (YZ, Montevideo) officials were present. Azul has been linked to a possible take-over of Alas Uruguay whose AOC it would then use to gain access to Uruguayan traffic rights.

Focus will now shift to the Uruguayan civil aviation authority (DINACIA) which will set forth the requirements Azul will need to complete in order for its project to move forward.

For its part, the bulk of Azul's operations are focussed on the Brazilian domestic market with Cayenne, Fort Lauderdale Int'l, Lisbon, Orlando Int'l, and Punta del Este its only international services.