TAM Linhas Aereas (Bovespa: TAMM4; NYSE: TAM) firmed up its order for 22 A350 XWBs (Xtra Wide Body) models 800 and 900, to be delivered from 2013 onwards.
TAM, Airbus’ biggest customer in the southern hemisphere, now has the largest A350 XWB fleet in this region on order and will be the first in Latin America to incorporate this aircraft into its fleet.
TAM also confirmed the acquisition of four A330-200 aircraft with deliveries from 2010 onwards and of 20 more aircraft from the A320 family. The A320 family aircraft are in addition to the firm order signed in 2005 and 2006 for the same models. According to the price list, the total value of the 46 aircraft is approximately US$ 6.9 billion.
With an operating fleet of 109 aircraft, of which 102 are Airbus aircraft, including 15 A319’s, 70 A320’s, three A330-200’s and two A340-500’s, TAM operates not only the largest Airbus fleet in Latin America but also maintains the largest number of models from the European manufacturer in the region. TAM’s fleet plan remains unchanged; it foresees a fleet of 123 aircraft by the end of this year and 136 aircraft by the end of 2010.
“Airbus aircraft help to build on our excellence standards of through outstanding passenger comfort. The A350 XWB will provide state-of-the-art passenger comfort, while assuring lowest operating costs and low emissions. We add professionalism and know-how,” said Captain David Barioni Neto, President of TAM. “The A350 XWB will allow us to continue the successful expansion we have already achieved with our A330s and A320s.”
“We are very proud to have TAM, one of the most internationally renowned airlines, as the launch customer for our new A350XWB program in South America,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “This contract is a confirmation of the trust that TAM puts in our successful partnership. We cannot value this confidence highly enough, and are certain this repeat order will also further boost TAM’s impressive development. ”
The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) Family is Airbus’ response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long-range wide-body aircraft. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of the aircraft of this market segment. The aircraft is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns.
The A330 has low operating costs, and the largest and most comfortable passenger’s cabin on its category. TAM already operates 12 A330-200 aircraft in its international long haul routes. The 88 aircraft from the A320 family in the Company’s fleet are used in Brazilian and other South America routes.