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Brazil stuck on the runway

Planes of Brazilian airlines Varig and Gol sit at the Santos Dumont airport in Rio de Janeiro.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: You know flying the U.S. has become a challenge even without the water, but it can be worse in countries like Brazil. A work slowdown by air traffic controllers there has brought huge delays and heavy losses to business in Latin America's largest economy. More from the Americas Desk at WLRN and Marketplace's Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: Air traffic controllers in Brazil are demanding higher pay, better equipment and a lighter work load.

Their work slowdown has caused chaos in Brazilian airports. Dozens of flights have been cancelled and hundreds more delayed. Alex Degunten directs the Latin American Air Transport Association.

Alex Degunten: It's been rather tough both on passengers and on airlines. The airline industry is very competitive and it's very hard to try to maintain schedules when you have the air traffic controllers working at a slow pace to make a point with the government.

The Brazilian air force oversees the air traffic controllers. It said problems with radar screen and a communications link failure caused the delays.

Brazil arrested two controllers on Friday to restore discipline, but the damage was already done: flights were delayed through the weekend.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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