ORLANDO, Fla. -

Brazilian carrier Tam Airlines introduced this week the first non-stop service between Orlando International Airport and Rio de Janeiro.  Tam will fly one flight a day, seven days a week, between the two cities. Tam already operates two non-stop flights daily between Orlando and Sao Paulo.

According to Dr. Jason Pirozzolo, Vice-Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the Orlando-Rio route, alone, will bring more than $169 million in annual economic impact to the Orlando area.

"Combined with TAM’s two other daily flights, their total combined economic impact is more than half a billion dollars, which highlights the importance of bringing more international travel to Central Florida,” Pirozzolo said.

Orlando has become a favorite vacation and business destination among Brazilians, and according to the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, Rio de Janeiro is the top leisure destination most visited by foreign tourists to Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro will be one of the host cities of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and will also host the Olympic games in 2016.