LATAM Airlines Group co-founder TAM Airlines is launching new routes to two North American cities in 2015 and will also embark during the year on a strategic expansion of its Brazilian domestic regional network after placing a sizable order for regional aircraft.
TAM Airlines, which like its sibling carriers in the LAN group of airlines is a member of the oneworld alliance, is launching service between São Paulo and Toronto as an add-on sector to its existing JJ8103/JJ8102 round-trip between New York JFK and São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport.
Although TAM Airlines operates this New York-São Paulo round-trip daily, the carrier will operate the add-on sectors to and from Toronto five times a week. The airline will begin operating the extension round-trip between New York and Toronto on March 29.
TAM Airlines will also launch a new daily service between Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, and Orlando on June 12.
In addition, TAM Airlines will add three more rotations a week to its existing JJ8042/JJ8043 round-trip between Brasilia and Miami from August 27, increasing the round-trip to a daily frequency.
TAM Airlines will operate all these new and additional Brazil-North America sectors using Boeing 767-300ER widebodies, each aircraft seating 30 passengers in the carrier’s Premium Business cabin and 191 in its Economy cabin.
Additionally, Marco Antonio Bologna, the chairman of TAM S.A., and Claudia Sender, the CEO of TAM Airlines, have announced that TAM will invest in regional air services in Brazil during 2015, independent of any regulatory changes that the Brazilian government may implement through its Regional Aviation Development Program.
TAM Airlines plans to add service to four to six new domestic regional destinations every year, starting in 2015.
To this end, TAM Airlines has revealed that it is in advanced negotiations with aircraft manufacturers, with a view to placing a sizable order for regional jets.
According to TAM, Embraer is among the manufacturers with which TAM Airlines is negotiating. The Brazilian manufacturer’s proposal for a TAM purchase involving Embraer E-Jets and/or re-engined Embraer E-Jets E2 regional jets includes an 18-aircraft firm order and options for 12 more aircraft.
The airline says it plans to conclude its negotiations over the regional-jet order by the end of the first quarter.
“Our plans call for the use of new-generation aircraft,” says Bologna. “Now we only need to conclude these negotiations with competitive prices and adequate financing conditions.”
Remarks Sender: “Regional aviation is where we started; it is in our corporate DNA. We serve cities in the so-called average-density markets and, therefore, we are already established in this segment.”
Sender says also that, “given its vast size, regional aviation is vital to Brazil,” adding that, to TAM, developing airport infrastructure in smaller cities is more important than the subsidy model the government plans to regulate.
TAM Airlines’ new extension round-trip between New York JFK (IATA code JFK) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) will see flight JJ8102 leave JFK airport at 11:15 a.m. five times a week from March 29 and arrive in Toronto at 1:00 p.m.
In the other direction, flight JJ8103 will depart YYZ at 4:35 p.m. and land at JFK at 6:30 p.m.
The airline’s new Brasilia-Orlando service will see flight JJ8048 push back from the gate at Brasília International Airport –Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek (BSB) at 11:22 a.m. daily from June 12 and touch down at Orlando International Airport (MCO) at 6:30 p.m. local time.
In the other direction, flight JJ8049 will vacate the gate at MCO at 10:30 p.m. and reach BSB at 7:19 a.m. the following morning, local time.
TAM Airlines has also confirmed it will be the first airline in the Americas and the fourth in the world to take delivery of an Airbus A350 XWB widebody, when it receives its first A35-900 in late 2015.
“We are also investing around US$183 million within the next two years in over 200 projects that will provide for new services and technologies for our customers, productivity and sustainability technologies, and infrastructure for our employees,” says Sender.
Adds Sender: “We are the airline that transports the greatest number of Brazilians in both domestic and international routes. TAM is also the air carrier that transports the most foreigners to Brazil and the most cargo within Brazil. In 2013, we flew 37 million passengers and transported 233,000 tons of cargo.”