The Florianópolis International Airport, managed by Floripa Airport, a subsidiary of the Zurich Airport Group, performed an unprecedented operation this Thursday: the landing of a 747-400F Boeing aircraft, one of the most impressive aircrafts in the world of aviation. The cargo plane, which weighs almost 400,000 kilos, made an intercontinental journey from China to the capital of Santa Catarina bringing 700 cubic meters of hospital supplies, consisting of PPE materials, from a private importer.

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This is the first time the Florianópolis International Airport has handled this aircraft. Twenty-five years ago, a similar but smaller and lighter plane, a Boeing 747-200, made a stopover in the city. The 747-400F jumbo landed on Thursday, June 11, and is scheduled to depart on Friday, June 12. The flight is operated by the Terra Avia air company from the Republic of Moldova, a European country bordered by Ukraine.

This flight is the realization of the great potential of the Florianópolis International Airport, which Floripa Airport has always believed in and worked hard to demonstrate, namely, that our airport is excellently equipped to handle cargo. Our infrastructure is on the same level as that of the five major airports in the country in cargo handling, according to Ricardo Gesse, General Director of Floripa Airport.

Gesse also observed that Santa Catarina has all that it takes to be a logistical hub in southern Brazil:

"Our state has unique conditions for international transportation of goods by air, with one of the most attractive tax incentive programs in Brazil for this segment."

The renovations of the apron and the runway carried out by Floripa Airport after taking over management of the airport in January 2018, are improvements that qualified the cargo terminal in Florianópolis for operations of such size and guaranteed approval by ANAC (Brazil’s civil aviation authority), in October 2019, for the airport to receive wide body or code E aircraft, such as this jumbo plane.

The following improvements were made:

  • Expansion of the main runway;
  • Widening of the runway by adding shoulders;
  • Increase in apron capacity with the opening of the new terminal;
  • Construction of safety areas at the runway thresholds, called RESA.


From an operational standpoint, there are other favorable conditions for E-code aircraft operations:

  • The resistance of the runway surface, recently confirmed by technical studies carried out by the concessionaire;
  • The low rate of airport closure due to weather conditions, one of the lowest on the southern / southeastern axis;
  • The fact that the runway is 2,400 meters long and is at sea level.


Another initiative by Floripa Airport to guarantee the operations for the jumbo aircraft was its partnership with Dnata, a company that provides ground handling (ramp services), and specializes in services for category E aircrafts.  This is a new service not previously offered at the airport in this capital city.

“Floripa Airport Cargo is a new player on the international air logistics scene, which, from a domestic standpoint, diversifies available markets, and, at the local level, brings many benefits to the state of Santa Catarina. Up until now, international importers have had to bring their air cargo through São Paulo and then use ground transportation to reach Santa Catarina. Now, we are no longer dependent on São Paulo, which reduces import costs and saves time. We now have a new outlook that creates jobs in the region and drives our economy,” according to Gesse.

The operational efficiency of the airport's International Cargo Terminal, including terminal security, the speed in clearing customs (71% cleared within 24 hours) and the storage infrastructure, also contributed to the arrival of the Boeing 747-400F, a flight that will go down in the history of the Florianópolis International Airport.

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