Aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, who founded JetBlue Airways nine years ago, will launch a São Paulo-based airline that will fly to most major cities in Brazil by 2013, with a fleet of up to 76 Embraer planes. The carrier has raised about $150m from US and Brazilian investors, including Mr Neeleman, who will remain chairman and is regarded an expert at exploring market opportunities.

Dave Barger, JetBlue Airways’ chief executive, said: “Creating a quality airline product by partnering with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer will be beneficial to the growing Brazilian travel market.”