Brazilian Airlines Rejoice As Bolsonaro Vetoes Free Checked Baggage

Brazilian airlines are rejoicing after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed a measure that would have mandated free checked baggage on domestic and international flights.

Bolsonaro Vetoes Bill Which Would Have Mandated Free Checked Baggage In Brazil

Under the Federal Constitution of 1988, Brazil’s president enjoys a line-item veto of legislation, subject to override by an absolute majority in the Brazilian Congress. While Bolsonaro signed a bill which seeks to reduce red tape in the high-regulated airline industry in Brazil, he vetoed an amendment that would have mandated one complimentary checked bag per ticket, including:

  • up to 23 kilograms (51 pounds) on domestic flights
  • up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds) on international routes

After the issuing veto, his office issued a statement explaining the decision:

“Said proposal would increase the costs of airline services and regulatory risks, the attractiveness of the Brazilian market to potential new competitors and contributing to an increase in air ticket prices.”

The news boosted local airline stocks, with shares of Gol Linhas Aereas and Azul SA jumping. Congress could decide to override the veto (an absolute majority would be required via secret ballot in both the Chamber of Deputies and Federal Senate), but a special legislative session would have to be called.

Airlines claimed the rule, if imposed, would lead to higher ticket prices for consumers who chose to travel light and would undermine the regulatory reforms which seek to make Brazil a more competitive nation for air travel. Already, airfare is up 89% over the last year.

CONCLUSION

President Bolsonaro of Brazil has vetoed a measure that would have mandated airlines provide a complimentary checked bag on both domestic and international itineraries. The widely-expected decision sent airline stocks surging, but Congress may still choose to override the veto.

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