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Rio's Main Airport Faces Turbulence with Customer Dissatisfaction

07/15/2016 - 17h10

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DIMMI AMORA
FROM BRASÍLIA

Galeão airport in Rio de Janeiro will be the main gateway to the city for the Olympics this summer. Some one million visitors are expected to attend the games, flying in from all corners of the world.

Diana Brito/Folhapress
Galeão's public rating has declined since the same period of 2015.
Galeão's public rating has declined since the same period of 2015.

It is unfortunate timing, therefore, that a recent survey by the Ministry of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation ranks Galeão as the lowest of all Brazil's main airports in terms of quality of service.

The results, published this Thursday (14), reveal that passengers gave Galeão the distinctly average rating of 3.91 out of a possible 5. The main airports - all of which deal with a flow of around 15 million passengers per year - include terminals in Brasilia, as well as Congonhas and Guarulhos airports, both in Sao Paulo.

Galeão, it appears, has not improved in public opinion since the previous quarter with the results being practically identical. In fact, Galeão's public rating has declined since the same period of 2015.

Once again, the airport that came out top in the country in the general rankings was Curitiba (owned by Aviation company Infraero), which earned a score of 4.64.

Galeão was privatised in 2014, and its concessionary, RIOGaleão, - a partnership between Odebrecht Transport (Brazil) and Changi (Singapore) - immediately began a massive construction project to increase the size and capacity of the aiport.

According to the Ministry, upheavals caused by construction works will naturally affect passenger satisfaction. During building works for the World Cup at Campinas and Brasília airports, ratings dropped significantly. After the renovations were completed, passenger satisfaction rose to previous levels.

RIOGaleão, however, claims that its own surveys tell a different story. The company says it has been conducting research independently of the Ministry since January 2015. This June, it reported the highest ever ratings for the airport among customers.

Translated by GILLIAN SOPHIE HARRIS

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