Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (AD, Sao Paulo Viracopos) will open a crew base at Recife Guararapes International Airport with effect from June of this year. A carrier statement said the move would create 300 new jobs.

"From this base, we will open up 220 places for technical crew members, including captains, co-pilots and commissioners, who have Recife as their home city. In one-and-a-half years, this number should rise. This is very important for our crew because many are from the region and will be transferred to Recife. We have a bold plan for hub growth in Pernambuco and several vacancies will be opened up," the executive president for Azul Holdings, José Mario Caprioli, said.

Recife's role as Azul's main hub in Brazil's Northeast will be further entrenched with the move. At present, the hybrid carrier operates 392 weekly departures out of Recife to 29 destinations, four of them international.

To cope with its accelerated growth plans, Azul last week unveiled plans to increase the number of aircraft it will take delivery of in 2019.

An airline statement said it expects to add 21 Next Generation aircraft this year (thirty-two A320neo and six E2 jets), an increase of eight aircraft from its previous plan twenty-seven A320neo and two E2s).

"These additions will be offset by the retirement of fifteen E195s, seven more than previously announced. Consistent with our fleet upgauging strategy, total available seat kilometres (ASKs) are expected to increase by 18% while departures should grow by only 5%," it said.