SAO PAULO, Brazil (September 24, 2008) – TAM began operating two new international routes last weekend from the Belo Horizonte Airport (Confins). TAM began offering daily flights from the capital of Minas Gerais to Miami (USA), with a stop in Rio de Janeiro, and to Paris (France) with a stop in Sao Paulo. “These flights are a major step towards strengthening the Belo Horizonte Airport (Confins) and consolidating it as an international hub,” said Captain David Barioni Neto, president of TAM.
The frequency to Miami is operated from the Tom Jobim Airport (Galeao), in Rio de Janeiro, using a Boeing 767-300 with capacity of up to 205 passengers in executive and economy class configuration. The Paris frequency will operate from Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport using a modern Airbus A330 aircraft configured for three classes, replacing the MD-11 currently being used that should be returned this year. The Belo Horizonte-Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte-Sao Paulo legs are operated in both directions using Airbus A320 aircraft.
The flight to Miami departs from Tancredo Neves International Airport in Belo Horizonte (Confins) at 7:30 p.m., arriving at Tom Jobim Airport (Galeao) in Rio de Janeiro at 8:25 p.m. from where it departs at 11:05 p.m. for Miami International Airport, landing at 6:30 a.m. the following day. The return trip departs Miami at 10:05 p.m. for Rio de Janeiro (Galeao), arriving at 7:10 a.m. departing at 9:30 a.m. for Belo Horizonte (Confins) and arriving at 10:35 a.m.
The flight to Paris departs Belo Horizonte (Confins) at 7:25 p.m. and lands in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) at 8:40 p.m., departing at 11 p.m. and arriving in Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport) the following day at 3:20 p.m. The return flight departs Paris at 11 p.m. and arrives in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) the following day at 5:40 a.m., departing at 8:30 a.m. for Belo Horizonte and landing at 9:35 a.m.
With these new frequencies, TAM will operate three international flights daily from Belo Horizonte International Airport. Besides the flights to Miami and Paris, TAM has been operating a daily frequency since November 2007 between Belo Horizonte and Buenos Aires (Argentina), with a stop in Guarulhos, Sao Paulo.
“These international flights are an unequivocal demonstration of TAM’s wager on the development of the Belo Horizonte market,” said TAM’s vice president for commercial and planning, Paulo Castello Branco. In addition to international operations, the company also has invested in the creation of new domestic flights directly connecting the Minas Gerais capital to destinations in the south of the country, without stopping in Sao Paulo.
For example, since August, the flight that departs Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul) at 7:30 a.m. lands in Curitiba at 8:35 a.m., and then departs at 9:15 a.m. for Belo Horizonte (Confins), arriving at 11:00 a.m. In the opposite direction, the flight departs Confins at 8:00 p.m. and lands in Curitiba at 9:45 p.m., departing at 10:20 p.m. for Porto Alegre where it arrives at 11:25 p.m. The flight that departs Belo Horizonte (Confins) at 12 noon and lands in Sao Paulo (Guarulhos) at 1:20 p.m. allows for a number of domestic and international connections operated by TAM and partner airlines. In the opposite direction, the flight leaves Sao Paulo at 6:05 p.m. and arrives in the Minas Gerais capital at 7:20 p.m.
The Confins-Rio de Janeiro (Galeao)-Confins and Confins-Sao Paulo (Guarulhos)-Confins routes are operated with Airbus A320 aircraft.