Just to set the scene:

Brazil’s airports handled a record 155 million passengers in 2010 (that’s more than all airports in France combined), an impressive increase of 21.3% on 2009. Domestic traffic still dominates as almost 90% of airport passengers travel within Brazil. This year has also started well, with both domestic and international passengers up around 16% in January.

And GE is predicting Brazil’s air traffic could double in the next three years. I’m currently sitting in a hotel room in Sao Paulo listening to planes buzz overhead about once every two to three minutes. Brazil was almost certainly the fastest growing mobile internet market in 2010 with an over 500% increase in mobile search queries, and the payments innovation in this market is also something I’ve also written about before.

Another interesting thing about Brazil is that it is one of the rare markets where Facebook is not the leading social network. Google’s Orkut product is around three times bigger and outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt recently said:

Brazil is, for example, already on its way to becoming our sixth-largest country in revenue.

With so much growth in aviation and in mobile, Brazil will continue to be an important market for airline direct channel trend spotters to keep an eye on in the the months and years ahead.