LONDON, England – TAM Airlines is canceling its London Heathrow to Rio De Janeiro route from March, but will temporarily reopen the service during this summer’s football World Cup in Brazil.
The Brazilian carrier currently deploys a B767-300ER on the thrice-weekly route.
The service will be terminated on March 17, but will resume between June 3 and July 19 during the period when Brazil hosts the World Cup.
TAM, which is part of the merged LATAM Group with Chile’s LAN (see news, December 2011), will continue to operate its daily LHR to Sao Paulo route.
The airline said in a statement: “After analysing items such as efficiency, demand and route costs, the airline chose to make the adjustment in order to drive load factors and profitability on its international routes.
“In order to meet the high demand anticipated for the months of June and July, the airline expects to resume the three current weekly services between Rio de Janeiro and London over the summer.
“Customers who have previously acquired tickets are advised to contact the sales, loyalty and service centre on 020 8741 2005 in order to change their flights or request a full refund.”
Jorge Vilches, head of LATAM’s international business unit, said: “We want to assure passengers flying from London that they can still reach Rio de Janeiro via regular domestic flights from Sao Paulo seven days a week.
“We are configuring the operation in our connections centre to ensure the layover impacts as little as possible on t”he journey time so that passengers can enjoy the best possible flight experience.”