Gol which is the largest Low Cost airline in Brazil and together with TAM carries the vast majority of the Country's domestic traffic came from humble beginnings. It was the idea of the son of one of the largest coach providers in the country.
As you can see from the diagram - the airline traffic overtook bus in mid 2008.
For the actual detailed chart please look here for the Portuguese language based version.
This is a classic example of how the world can benefit from air transport. However in my view the growth of the airline space will not come necessarily at the expense of the bus traffic. Our estimates are that the bus traffic will smooth out after a while and that will form the bedrock of the long distance coach traffic. Already we see the market evolving. However the achaic reservations systems and the complexity of booking online and fulfilling is significantly adding to the woes of the long haul operators. They need to rapidly change with new reservations systems and modern distribution attributes.
Without them - this chart will look a lot worse in just a few years.