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Sao Paulo Airports

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São Paulo has three major airports: Guarulhos International and Viracopos for international and some domestic arrivals, and Congonhas for most medium and short haul domestic flights.

Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)

If flying into São Paulo from abroad, you'll mostly likely land at Guarulhos International Airport, also known as Cumbica. Located 40 km from the city centre, the airport has two terminals that are served by Brazilian airlines Varig, TAM, Gol and by international flights from United, Delta, American, Continental, Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, TACA, TAP, Iberia, Alitalia, KLM, JAL, Korean Air (via Los Angeles), South African and many others.

Non-airline shuttle buses are available from Guarulhos to Congonhas Airport, Praça da República (Downtown), Paulista/Jardins region, Barra Funda bus station and Tietê bus station(fastest access to the subway).

All lines except Congonhas connect to the Metrô. There is also a regular urban bus every 20-30 min and goes to and from Tatuapé Metro station. Exit Terminal 1 Arrivals and head for the middle island. Look for buses 257 or 297. Be aware that you might be denied access with luggage that won´t fit on your lap.

TAM and Gol, the two main Brazilian airlines, offer free shuttle buses for their passengers with flights to/from Guarulhos International Airport and Congonhas Domestic Airport.

A taxi co-operative, Guarucoop (tel: +55 11 2440-7070), has a monopoly on cabs leaving Guarulhos. They are plentiful and the queue is outside the arrival terminal. Credit-card users can pay for their journey in advance at the booth. Passengers can ask to see the tabela, which shows the fares for each neighbourhood. A taxi ride into the city can take up to two hours during peak times; 30 min late at night or early in the morning.

Congonhas Airport (CGH)

The Congonhas Airport is in a very central region, 15 km (9 mi) from downtown. This airport handles most of the domestic flights and the popular São Paulo - Rio (Santos Dumont) short-flight or air shuttle (nicknamed Ponte Aérea). As it was built in the 30s, its simple but glamorous architecture is worth seeing.

The easiest (and cheapest) way to get to Congonhas is by taking any of the "Aeroporto" regular line buses that run in Paulista Ave. After some 40-60 min in modest traffic you'll be dropped right in front of the airport.  It is faster to take the metro to the São Judas or Conceição subway stations, and then the bus from there (10 min).

Viracopos International (CPQ or VCP)

Located near the city of Campinas, around 99 km (62 mi) from downtown São Paulo, Viracopos International is the second biggest airport in Brazil but is mainly used for air cargo transport; however, domestic and international flights also arrive there and it can be used when weather conditions prevent landing in Cumbica. Brazilian airline Azul serves important cities throughout the country from this airport.


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