TAM Airlines: Wikis


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TAM Airlines
Founded January 7, 1961 (as Taxi Aéreos Marília)[1]
Focus cities
Frequent flyer program TAM Fidelidade
Multiplus Fidelidade
Member lounge VIP Lounge
Alliance Star Alliance (future)
Fleet size 137 (+77 orders)
Destinations 61
Company slogan Portuguese: Paixão por voar e servir
English: Passion to fly and serve
Headquarters São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Key people Líbano Barroso (CEO)
Website tam.com.br
The headquarters of TAM
Former TAM logo

TAM Airlines[2] (Portuguese: TAM Linhas Aéreas) (BM&F Bovespa: TAMM3, TAMM4 / NYSETAM) is the biggest Brazilian airline and the Southern Hemisphere's busiest airline (in terms of fleet[3], passengers enplaned and flights operated[4]). It is headquartered in the city of São Paulo,[5] and operates scheduled services to destinations within Brazil, as well as international flights to Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy and Germany. The company is traded on the São Paulo Exchange (BM&F Bovespa) and New York Stock Exchange as "TAM S.A."[6].

According to the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), between January and December 2009, TAM had 45.60% of the domestic and 86.47% of the international market shares in terms of passengers/km and in relation to the same period in 2008, it increased its share in the domestic market in 6.46% and in the international market it increased in 14.24%. In February 2010, its shares were of 42.42% for the domestic and 81.95% for the international markets.[7]. In both periods TAM was ranked first among Brazilian airlines.



TAM was founded on January 7, 1961, by five former air-taxi pilots. The company was named Transportes Aéreos Marília, S.A. (Marília Air Transport) after the pilots' hometown of Marília, São Paulo.[1] It began operations with 4 Cessna 180 and a single Cessna 170, ferrying cargo and passengers across Paraná, São Paulo and Mato Grosso states.

In 1964, Orlando Ometto, owner of agricultural ventures in the region, purchased a 50% stake in the company, with the intent to use its aircraft and pilots to support an agricultural expansion project of his own in central Brazil. With the capital, TAM purchased aircraft. As the original pilot-owners left the company, Ometto purchased their share of the company, eventually owning 100% of the company.

In 1966, the company bought twin-engined aircraft models, including the Piper Aztec, Piper Navajo and the Rockwell Grand Commander. During this period, the company also relocated its offices from Marília to the state's capital, São Paulo.


Captain Rolim Amaro

In 1971, Ometto was losing money. In his search for someone to turn TAM around, Ometto called Rolim Amaro, a former pilot of TAM who had left and had formed an air-taxi company. Amaro proposed to liquidate his company and purchase a portion of TAM. While this did not constitute 50% of TAM's capital, he proposed to Ometto that if he was able to make TAM profitable within one year, he would be given the remaining portion of the 50%. In case he failed, he would receive nothing. In April, 1972, the contract between Amaro and Ometto was signed, giving Amaro operational control over the company.

At the end of 1972, Amaro sold TAM's entire fleet. At the same time, he travelled to Cessna's Wichita, Kansas facility and after two months of negotiations with the company, he bought 10 Cessna 402 aircraft. Within one year, Amaro fulfilled his promise and was given 50% of TAM's capital.

In 1974, TAM added two Learjets to its fleet. In exchange for one of these jets, 33% of the company's stock was given to the jet's owner, Tião Maia. The three-way split between Maia, Ometto and Amaro would remain until 1975, when Maia sold his share to Ometto. This deteriorated the atmosphere between Amaro and Ometto. In 1976, after 9 months of negotiation for Ometto's 50%, Amaro wrote a check for $2 million, with the promise to pay it over a period of time.

Despite selling one of the jets and other assets, he was still unable to make the payments. For a period of time, Amaro went as far as cancelling insurance for his planes, in an attempt to reduce costs. The morning after insurance was reinstated, on September 24, 1977, one of TAM's Learjets crashed on approach to Santos Dumont Airport. Despite no injuries, the aircraft was a total loss. However, with the cash from the Lear's insurance and the proceeds of the sale of a farm, Amaro concluded his purchase of TAM.

TAM Transportes Aéreos Marília

In 1976, prior to Amaro's takeover, and following a federal law thatin 1975 created 5 regional airlines in Brazil, TAM had participated in a joint-venture with VASP (then a state-owned airline) to create a regional airline that would fly between São Paulo and Mato Grosso. The company, dubbed TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais S/A (IATA code KK)[8] (TAM Regional Airlines), flew Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirantes at first. These, however, proved grossly inadequate for the task at hand, and even at full capacity needed to be subsidized by the government in order to be profitable.

TAM Airbus A320 in the former livery

TAM went on to purchase three used Fokker F27 turboprops, which were then refurbished by Fokker in Holland. In order to obtain the import authorization for the aircraft, a deal was struck with the government where TAM was forced to maintain 3 Bandeirantes for every F27, as well as removing 5 seats from each one, bringing the F27's capacity down to 40 passengers. A fourth F27, previously owned by Air New Zealand, was incorporated in 1981. TAM would eventually own 10 F27s by 1983.

By 1981, TAM had flown 1 million passengers, and 2 million by 1984.

TAM (KK) and TAM (JJ)

In August 1986 the company, under financial stress, went public and began floating stock in the market. The same year, TAM - Transportes Aéreos Regionais (KK) acquired another regional airline, VOTEC, which operated in areas of northern and central Brazil. VOTEC was renamed Brasil Central Linhas Aéreas. TAM and Brasil Central, were both regional airlines and operated in different designated areas. They however operated as a consortium with integrated networks and fleet, being the most notable differences the flight-number IATA codes, the color scheme of the aircraft and the areas where they were authorized to operate: whereas TAM - Transportes Aéreos Regionais flights had the IATA code KK, Brasil Central operated with the code JJ inherited from Votec; each one kept a different color scheme and operated in their own designated areas.

On May 15, 1990 the Brazilian Government lifted restrictions on operational areas of regional airlines allowing them to fly anywhere in Brazil. As a consequence, Brasil Central was renamed TAM - Transportes Aéreos Meridionais, acquired the same color scheme of TAM (KK) but maintained the IATA code JJ. In 2000 TAM (KK) was merged into TAM (JJ) and TAM (JJ) was renamed TAM Transportes Aéreos. The IATA code KK ceased to be used.

In 1988, TAM flew its 3 millionth passenger.

Fokker 100s

A TAM Fokker 100 in Curitiba in the former livery

Despite TAM's success in the market, it was evident the airline would not last long when competing against airlines such as Varig and VASP which already possessed Boeing 737s in their fleet. Amaro then tried to buy VASP, about to be privatized, and called the project "Revolution". Having lost the bid, he opted for a slower growth with a gradual addition of new aircraft, re-dubbed "Evolution".

On September 15, 1989, TAM arranged for the acquisition of two Fokker 100 jets, which had originally been ordered by the now-bankrupt Pan American World Airways. Like the F27s before them, TAM did not actually purchase them, but used Amaro's credibility to arrange for a third-party asset management company, Guinness Peat Aviation to purchase them and subsequently lease them back to TAM. Two more were added in 1991. In 1992, TAM carried its eight millionth passenger. By 1993, through the use of the Fokker 100 fleet which now numbered at 14, TAM was serving 56 cities in Brazil.

Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur S.A. TAM (PZ)

Flying abroad

TAM Airbus A330-200 in the former livery

In 1996, TAM bought another air company, Helisul, which used the trade name of TAM. In 1997, TAM ordered its first large jets; the airline ordered 45 planes from Airbus, including 10 A330s, 4 A319s, and 34 A320s. In 1997, the Airbuses began to be delivered and the airline flew its first international service, from São Paulo to Miami International Airport.

Two years later, in 1999, services to Europe were inaugurated through a code share service with Air France, to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. In 2000 the airline was renamed TAM Linhas Aéreas in Portuguese. Long running discussions to merge with Varig ended in 2004. In 2008, TAM transported 30,144,000 passengers, with an average load factor of 71%.[1]

As of 2010, the airline is owned by the Amaro family (46.25%), Amaro Aviation Part (3.52%), treasury stocks (0.27%) and minority shareholders (49.96%). It employs 24,000 staff.[1]

On March of 2010, the Brazilian newspaper Jornal do Commercio do Rio de Janeiro published an article about TAM in which the airline and its president were written about negatively. The article, titled "TAM-Mudanças a vista?", was written by a member of an online page named contatoradar.com.br. The airline took legal measures, and the article's writer, identified as one Andres Rodrigues, was arrested by Brazilian police.[9]


This building across from Congonhas-São Paulo Airport advertised TAM Airlines's TAM Express (now TAM Cargo) service. The TAM Airlines Flight 3054 disaster destroyed the building.

TAM Airlines has an extensive networking covering Europe, South and North America.

Many other destinations are operated trough code-share agreements, most of them by its partners airlines from Star Alliance (as TAM will join the alliance April 12), but also from others airlines such as LAN Airlines and Pluna.


TAM Cargo provides cargo services.

TAM Airlines (Paraguay) a Paraguayan airline owned by TAM

TAM Viagens provides vacation package services for Brazilians, while TAM Vacations provides vacation package services for Americans.[10][11]

TAM Jatos Executivos provides air services for business executives.

Pantanal Linhas Aéreas a airline company owned by TAM

Cine TAM is a theater in São Paulo owned by the airline company.


The passenger fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of October 2010):[12]

TAM Airlines Fleet[1][13]
Aircraft Total Passengers
Airbus A319-100 24 144 (0/0/144)
Airbus A320-200 80 174 (0/0/174)
156 (0/12/144)
Airbus A321-200 5 220 (0/0/220)
Airbus A330-200 16 223 (4/36/183)
Airbus A340-500 2 267 (42/225)
Boeing 767-300ER 3 205 (0/30/175)
Boeing 777-300ER 4 362 (4/56/302)
Fokker 100 6 117 (0/0/117)
Total 133
TAM Airlines check-in counter at Congonhas-São Paulo Airport

On June 16, 2005, TAM announced the purchase of 20 additional Airbus A320 family aircraft (including all the models A319, A320 and A321), plus an additional 20 options. These are expected to be delivered between late 2007 and 2010, adding to the already scheduled delivery of 6 A320s between 2006 and 2008. At the same time, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus stating its intent to buy 10 of the new Airbus A350-900 (plus 5 options), with deliveries due to commence at the end of 2012. These are expected to replace the A330 on the Paris and Miami routes as they become available.[citation needed]

TAM has signed a firm contract with Airbus to acquire 37 additional aircraft. The order comprises 12 A319s, 16 A320s, 3 A321s and 3 A330s and includes 12 unspecified extra options. This would bring TAMs fleet, acquired directly from Airbus to 115 aircraft [14] The commitments are separate from deals last year for 29 firm-ordered A320s and 20 options. The deliveries are to be concluded by 2010.

On October 31, 2006, TAM announced an order for 4 Boeing 777-300ER wide-body planes plus options for another 4 planes of the same type, which it later confirmed as orders. Deliveries of the 370-seat 777s commenced in 2008.[15]

TAM announced that on November 30, 2007, it would offer a new daily flight to Frankfurt am Main, Germany after receiving its second Airbus A340-500.[16][17]

Fleet maintenance is partly conducted at the technology center at São Carlos Airport [18]

Accidents and incidents

  • On February 8, 1979, a Bandeirante crashed near the town of Agudos killing all 18 people aboard. This was the first accident with loss of life for TAM.[citation needed]
  • On July 4, 1984 a second Bandeirante crashed in poor weather on approach near Macaé, killing all 17 people aboard.[citation needed]
  • On February 12, 1990 a F-27 aborted its landing, striking houses and a car outside the airport of Bauru. The 2 occupants of the car were killed.[citation needed]
  • On October 31, 1996, TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 crashed shortly after take-off from Congonhas, striking an apartment building and several houses. All 90 passengers and 6 crew members on board died. Three people were killed on ground. The crash was attributed to a faulty thrust-reverser in the right engine deploying after take-off.[citation needed]
  • On July 9, 1997, at Suzano a bomb was detonated in the rear part of the passenger cabin of a Fokker 100 on TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 283. The uncontrolled decompression blew one passenger out of the aircraft. The plane landed safely despite a 10 by 5-foot (1.5 m) hole next to the right engine.[19]
  • On August 30, 2002, TAM Airlines Flight 3084, a Fokker 100, was forced to land at a farm near Araçatuba after running out of fuel due to a faulty fuel indicator gauge. The gear-up landing's only victim was a cow on the ground.[20] No passengers were injured. On the same day, another Fokker 100 made an emergency gear-up landing at Viracopos-Campinas International Airport. Shortly after the incidents of August 31, TAM announced its intention to reduce its fleet of Fokker 100 immediately and phase out the type completely within three years.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Airways magazine, Fast Facts - TAM Linhas Aereas, February 2010, p. 25
  2. ^ "TAM Airlines." TAM Airlines. Retrieved on February 2, 2009.
  3. ^ "TAM Fleet at Airfleets.net (second largest would be Qantas, with 131 active aircraft)," Airfleets.net
  4. ^ "TAM Press Release (PDF)," TAM Airlines
  5. ^ "Contact Us." TAM Airlines. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  6. ^ "TAM S.A.," NYSE Euronext
  7. ^ "Dados Comparativos Avançados" (in Portuguese). Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC). http://www.anac.gov.br/dadosComparativos/DadosComparativos.asp. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  8. ^ Home Page on October 13, 1999. TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ http://www.tamviagens.com.br/
  11. ^ http://www.tamvacations.com/
  12. ^ Fleet Ref
  13. ^ TAM Airlines fleet - Offical website
  14. ^ Airliner World January 2007
  15. ^ TAM Announces Purchase of Four Boeing 777-300ERs and Four Purchase Rights.
  16. ^ TAM Press Release," TAM Airlines
  17. ^ "TAUME.COM Business News," Taume.com - World Business
  18. ^ "Centro Tecnológico de São Carlos," TAM Airlines
  19. ^ TAM Linhas Aéreas Flight 283, Airdisaster.com
  20. ^ Video of Flight 3084 after landing YouTube. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  21. ^ (Portuguese)TAM says damage assessment is still not possible. Folha Online. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
  22. ^ (English)'Many dead' in Brazil plane crash. BBC News. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
  23. ^ (Portuguese)TAM Airplane loses control and hits warehouse. Folha Online. Retrieved July 17, 2007.
  24. ^ Fiery plane crash at São Paulo airport kills at least 200
  25. ^ "Acidente com o Airbus da TAM é o pior da América Latina." BBC Brasil. July 18, 2007. Retrieved on June 5, 2009.
  • [2] (2007). TAM magazine.
  • [3] (2007). TAM confirms purchase of 02 Airbus A340-500. São Paulo.
  • Thales Guaracy(2003). O Sonho Brasileiro. São Paulo : A Girafa.
  • [4](2005). TAM confirms purchase of 20 Airbus A319/A320/A321. São Paulo.
  • [5](2006) . Airbus customer turns to Boeing with billion-dollar 777 order. The Seattle Times.

External links

Simple English

TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas in Portuguese) is Brazilian airline. TAM was an abbreviation of Portuguese: Taxi Aéreo Marília, Air Taxis of Marília. Marilia is a town in rural São Paulo State.

TAM was founded in 1961, but since 2000 it has grown fast, and is now the biggest airline in Latin America.


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