The LATAM Airlines Group has announced five new long-haul international services it plans to begin in the next 15 months, to strengthen the group’s connectivity in Latin America, North America and Europe.
First to launch will be TAM Brazilian Airlines’ new service between São Paulo and Cancun, which the carrier will begin operating before the end of 2014.
TAM Airlines will follow this launch with three more new long-haul routes in 2015: São Paulo to Toronto, via New York JFK; São Paulo-Barcelona; and Brasília-Orlando.
The airline will start both the São Paulo-New York-Toronto and the São Paulo-Barcelona services by the beginning of the peak summer season in mid-2015. TAM will then launch its new Brasília-Orlando service in the third quarter of 2015.
TAM already operates direct service between São Paulo and Madrid, so Barcelona will become its second destination in Spain.
São Paulo-based TAM will also boost its existing Brazil-United States schedule next year by adding more round-trip frequencies on its Brasília-Miami and São Paulo-Miami services.
TAM will increase service frequency on its São Paulo-Miami route in the second half of 2015. It plans to increase service frequency on its Brasília-Miami route to seven weekly frequencies by the third quarter of the year.
In late 2015, LATAM Airlines Group member LAN Airlines will take over TAM’s existing São Paulo-Milan service and extend it to create a Santiago-São Paulo-Milan routing.
LAN also plans to increase service frequency on its Santiago-Miami route from 10 to 14 flights a week, adding frequencies gradually over the course of the year.
According to LATAM, the LAN Airlines operation on this Chile-Brazil-Italy route will offer passengers an improved in-flight experience, because LAN will operate the route with Boeing 787 widebodies rather the Airbus A330-200s with which TAM operates the São Paulo-Milan route now.
In 2015 TAM plans to increase its use of Boeing 767-300ER widebodies, which feature full-flat bed seats in Business Class.
The Brazilian airline already operates nine 767-300ERs and is due by the end of 2015 to take another six from its sister carrier LAN Airlines, which is gradually replacing the 35 767-300ERs in its fleet with 22 Boeing 787-8s and 10 787-9s.
TAM will also improve the cabin configuration of its Boeing 777-300ER widebodies to provide passengers with greater comfort, according to LATAM. TAM currently operates 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and has another five yet to be delivered.
By the end of 2015, TAM should also become the first airline in the Americas to take delivery of an Airbus A350-900.
The Brazilian carrier holds firm orders for 27 of the type, which ultimately appear destined to replace at least some of the 13 Airbus A330-200 widebodies and 15 767-300ERs that will be in its fleet by the end of 2015, and perhaps even some of TAM’s 777-300ERs.
According to LATAM, its long-haul network expansion plan for 2015 calls for the creation of approximately 230 new jobs for flight crew members on long-haul flights.