It is understood that Brazilian airline TAM will axe two of its most important routes to Europe this summer.
Although TAM has yet to comment officially, airline GDS displays show that services linking Rio de Janeiro with Frankfurt and Paris CDG will cease in August.
TAM operates four times a week between Rio de Janeiro and Frankfurt and this service (out of Rio) will end on August 11. It links Rio de Janeiro with Paris CDG five times a week. The last flight from Rio will be on August 9.
It is also understood that TAM will downgrade the London route, from what used to be a large three-class B777-300ER, to a more modest two-class B767. It is expected the downgrade will take place in July and more details are awaited.
Why the cutbacks? Well it would appear to be a combination of factors.
TAM appears to have overexpanded in Europe in recent times while traffic volumes have been further affected not just by the economic downturn here but also by worsening economic conditions in Brazil itself - see this Reuters report.
The winners here are Air France and Lufthansa who will have the direct flight market to themselves once TAM pulls out of France and Germany.
Both carriers may decide to upgrade their flights to larger aircraft like the A380 should the demand be there.
With the FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil next year there must be concern about how European fans will be able to travel there bearing in mind the cutback in flight capacity.
TAM is currently a member of Star Alliance but has announced its intention to leave and join Oneworld in 2014.
Business Traveller will clarify the situation with TAM as soon as we have further news.
For more information visit tam.com.br.
Report by Alex McWhirter