SAO PAULO — Brazil’s busiest airport began operations at a new terminal on Sunday.
Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines and Portuguese TAP were the first to run operations at the new terminal of South America’s major air hub.
United Airlines, Air Canada and China Airlines are among the companies that will move in over the next few weeks before the World Cup begins on June 12, airport officials said.
Brazil has faced criticism for running behind schedule on its World Cup promises to upgrade its infrastructure plans. Some projects have been canceled and others will only be completed after the tournament ends.
One of the key areas was air travel. Officials vowed to upgrade outdated terminals when they bid for the World Cup in 2007.
Sao Paulo’s airport acknowledged its 47-acre (192,000 square meters) terminal won’t operate on full capacity until September, when it will handle 80 percent of the airport’s international traffic.
Some of the new technologies such as a self-service luggage check-in and electronic gates at the immigration checkpoint were expected to ease the flow of passengers at departures and arrivals in Sao Paulo during the football competition. But they won’t be ready until later this year, officials said.