TAM Airlines, Airbus’ biggest customer in the southern hemisphere and Brazil’s largest airline, has ordered 20 more Airbus A320-family jets and five A350-900s.
The memorandum of understanding outlining the order was signed during the ILA Berlin Airshow on June 8.
The new A350-900s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. TAM has yet to select engines for its 20 additional A320-family aircraft. The airline’s existing A320-family fleet contains aircraft powered by CFM56-5B engines and aircraft powered by IAE V.2500-A5 engines.
TAM will use its incremental A320-family order to replace existing A320-family aircraft as part of the airline’s fleet-planning commitment to keep its average A320-family fleet age down to six years. The new A320-family jets and A350 XWBs will serve the carrier’s existing routes, according to Airbus.
”With this new order, we can offer our customers one of the youngest fleets in the world of aviation,” says Líbano Barroso, CEO of TAM Airlines. “Additionally, these new aircraft will allow us to continue our strategy of operating a common fleet throughout our domestic market.”
In addition to its new order, TAM already has 44 single-aisle Airbus A320 Family aircraft on firm order for future delivery, as well as three A330-200s and 22 A350 XWBs, for a total backlog of 69 aircraft.
According to the 2010 Airbus Global Market Forecast, Brazil’s overall air traffic rate is now 36 per cent above its level in 2000, with domestic traffic nearly doubling during that time. As the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil stands to experience even higher air traffic.
With TAM being the biggest customer, Airbus says it has seen its most successful period in Latin America in the last five years, with 325 aircraft sold and a record backlog of more than 230 aircraft to be delivered to Latin American customers.
Today, more than 370 Airbus aircraft are flying with 23 Latin American airlines, the number representing more than 40 per cent of the entire fleet in service in Latin America.