TAROM: Wikis

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TAROM Romanian Air Transport
TAROM Transporturile Aeriene Române
IATA
RO
ICAO
ROT
Callsign
TAROM
Founded 1920 as CFRNA
1954 as TAROM
Hubs Henri Coandă International Airport
Focus cities Cluj Napoca International Airport
Frequent flyer program SMART MILES (Flying Blue from June 2010)
Alliance SkyTeam Associate Member (joining June 2010)
Fleet size 26
Destinations 53 (22 countries)
Parent company Government of Romania
Headquarters Otopeni, Ilfov County, Romania
Key people Ruxandra Brutaru (Director General)
Website tarom.ro/en/
Henri Coandă International Airport, the location of the TAROM head office

TAROM - Romanian Air Transport, commonly known simply as TAROM, is the flag carrier airline of Romania. The brand name TAROM is an acronym for Romanian: Transporturile Aeriene ROMâne (Romanian Air Transport). The head office of the airline is inside the International Departures Terminal of Henri Coandă International Airport (formerly known as Otopeni Airport) in Otopeni, Ilfov County,[1] near Bucharest. Its main base is Henri Coandă International Airport. The airline operates scheduled domestic services and international services to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. 95% of TAROM is owned by the Romanian Government (Ministry of Transport). The airline transported 1.69 million passengers in 2007 (a 32.1% increase compared to the previous year); this makes TAROM the second-fastest growing airline in Europe, after Brussels Airlines.[2]

Contents

History

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The beginnings

Romania's first national airline was founded in 1920 under the name CFRNA - (French-Romanian Company for Air Navigation). The airline used French-built Potez 15 aircraft for its passenger/mail service between Paris and Bucharest via several cities in Central Europe. In 1925, the city of Galaţi became the first destination in Romania served by regular flights followed, from 24 June 1926, by an extended service to Iaşi and Chişinău. Ten de Havilland DH.9 and five Ansaldo A.300, in addition to the Potez aircraft, operated the service. In 1928 the airline changed its name to SNNA - Serviciul Naţional de Navigaţie Aeriană (The National Air Navigation Service). In 1930, the company adopted the name LARES - Liniile Aeriene Române Exploatate de Stat (Romanian Air Line Exploited by the State) while 1937 saw the merger of LARES with its competitor, SARTA (Societatea Anonimă Română de Transporturi Aeriene).[3]

Post World War II

After World War II, when the Soviet Union had extended its influence across Eastern Europe, the airline TARS (Transporturi Aeriene Româno-Sovietice) was established on 8 August 1945, jointly-owned by the governments of Romania and the Soviet Union. Domestic operations were started from Bucharest (Baneasa Airport) on 1 February 1946. The company's Soviet share was purchased by Romania and, on 18 September 1954, the airline adopted the name of TAROM - (Transporturi Aeriene Române - Romanian Air Transport). By 1960, TAROM was flying to a dozen cities across Europe. 1966 saw the operation of its first trans-Atlantic flight. On May 14, 1974, it launched a regular service to New York City - (JFK International Airport).

Boeing 737-700 in the 1990s livery

Being part of the regional group of airlines within Soviet Bloc states meant that for much of its history TAROM has operated Soviet-designed planes. These included the Li-2, Ilyushin Il-14, Ilyushin Il-18 long-range turboprop, Ilyushin Il-62 long-range jet airliner, Antonov An-24 regional turboprop, and the Tupolev Tu-154 medium-range tri-jet. As was the case with a number of other nations, the Il-62 was the first long-range jet airliner to be put into operation by Romania (1973). Five examples (three Il-62 and two later version Il-62M with a range of 10,000 km) were owned by TAROM, which also leased the planes to other operators. An exception to Soviet-built planes was made in 1968 when TAROM bought the BAC One Eleven for European and Middle East destinations, and in 1974 when it acquired Boeing 707 aircraft to share its long haul operations with the Il-62. In 1978 a contract was signed with the UK to manufacture the BAC One Eleven near Bucharest. Meanwhile the 707 and Il-62 long range aircraft were operating New-York (via Amsterdam, later London and finally Vienna), Abu-Dhabi-Bangkok-Singapore, and Karachi-Beijing. TAROM was the only Soviet Bloc airline to operate flights to Tel Aviv, Israel.

The 1990s

ATR 42-500, used mainly on domestic flights

It was only after the collapse of the Communist Party in 1989 that the airline was able to acquire more Western-built jets. By 1993, TAROM had introduced long haul flights to Montreal and Bangkok, using Ilyushin Il-62, and Airbus A310 aircraft.

During the 1990s, TAROM replaced its long-haul fleet of Boeing 707s and IL-62s with two new A310 aircraft and a third one in lease (the last Il-62 being sold in 1999). In 2001 the airline cancelled its non-profitable long haul services to Bangkok and Montreal and also terminated services to its remaining intercontinental destinations of Beijing (in 2003), Chicago (in 2002), and New York City (in 2003).[citation needed]

TAROM terminated loss-making domestic services to Craiova, Tulcea, Caransebeş, and Constanţa) and focused its activity on service to key destinations in Europe and the Middle East. 2004 was the first profitable year of the last decade.

Today

Airbus A310-300 "Transilvania", the only type of wide-body aircraft in the fleet
Boeing 737-300 (YR-BGA) "Alba-Iulia" on the stand at Charles de Gaulle Airport (October 2008)

TAROM is recovering from a difficult period that began in the 1990s, when losses of up to $68 million a year were registered, caused by unprofitable routes. At the beginning of the new millennium, the airline initiated a program that was aimed at restoring profitability. This was achieved by terminating loss-making intercontinental services.

TAROM has decided to focus its operations on Bucharest (Henri Coandă International Airport) (OTP) and Cluj-Napoca International Airport (CLJ). Codeshare agreements with foreign partner airlines are in place for several international routes. To meet competition from Carpatair, which uses the city of Timişoara in Western Romania as its hub city, TAROM has initiated direct international flights from Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca. In June 2005 it was announced as one of the future associate members of SkyTeam alliance, initially due to join by 2006, now June 2010. A fleet upgrade program started in 2006 with the acquisition of the first two Airbus A318 (from a total of four ordered) which resulted in a fleet increase from 16 planes (in Nov. 2006) to 22 (as of 2007) and 26 (2009).

In May 2008 Tarom was once again endorsed as a soon-to-be SkyTeam associate member, this time by Air France.

The airline has a frequent flyer programme "Smart Miles" now to be turned into Flying Blue.

Destinations

The airline serves 53 destinations in 22 countries (Europe, Middle East and northern Africa) including 12 domestic destinations.

Fleet

The TAROM fleet consists of the following aircraft (at 25 January 2010):[4]

TAROM Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(Business/Economy)
Notes
Airbus A310-300 2 209 (20/189)
Airbus A318-111 4 113 (14/99)
ATR 42-500 7 48 (10/38)
ATR 72-500 2 68 (0/68)
Boeing 737-300 4 116 (14/102)
124 (10/114)
138 (0/138) (Charter configuration)
Boeing 737-700 4 116 (14/102) Equipped with winglets
Boeing 737-800 3 186 (0/186) Equipped with winglets
Total 26

Fleet expansion 2006 - 2009

In autumn 2006 TAROM's fleet counted 16 airplanes (9 Boeing 737 classic & NG and 7 ATR 42-500).

In November and December 2006, TAROM took delivery of its first two Airbus A318-111, becoming only the second commercial operator of this type of aircraft in Europe, after Air France. In the fall of 2007, two more Airbus A318 have joined the fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft to four. The Airbus A318 planes are being used on routes from Bucharest to Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris and Vienna[5].
Following airline's decision to cancel its long-haul operations TAROM's both Airbus A310 aircraft were grounded between 2003 and 2007 in Otopeni Airport. In 2008, after reintroducing them to the fleet, TAROM realized their inefficiency and decided to sell them. TAROM Executives stated discussions with Airbus and Boeing are still underway, but 3 Boeing 737-800 have been chosen as replacements and joined the fleet over the course of three months, beginning in November 2008, with the last one being delivered on January 24, 2009.[6] In order to meet demand on the domestic market, the airline decided to expand its fleet with 2 ATR 72-500 which joined the fleet in the first semester of 2009.

The average fleet age of the TAROM fleet is 8.7 years.[7]

Retired fleet

At Bucharest-Otopeni Airport
Airbus A318 "Aurel Vlaicu", the first aircraft painted in the current colour scheme (Nov. 2006)

Maintenance

TAROM - Technical Division is an aircraft maintenance provider. It employs 800 staff and specializes in maintaining ATR, Boeing 737 series, Airbus A310 and A320 aircraft.[8] Other maintenance providers in Romania are Aerostar SA in Bacău and Romaero located at Băneasa Airport, Bucharest.

Codeshare agreements

Boeing 737-300 at London Heathrow Airport, with a United Airlines Boeing 777; the airplane (YR-BGC) was damaged beyond repair during the Dec. 30, 2007 incident

TAROM has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of November 2009:[9]

Alliances

In 2006 TAROM was scheduled to join SkyTeam as an associate member (sponsored by Alitalia), but the entry into the alliance was postponed until 2008. On 7 May 2008 SkyTeam signed a SkyTeam Alliance Associate Adherence Agreement (SAAAA) agreement with TAROM, indicating the airline is on the track to join the alliance as an associate member (sponsored by Air France).[10]

As of November 2009, the move is scheduled for June 2010.[11]

Livery

TAROM logo in the 1970s
  • The TAROM logo, representing a swallow in flight, has been used on all TAROM aircraft since 1954.
  • In the 1970s livery the logo on the tail was painted in red, with a red cheatline.
  • The livery introduced in the early 1990s (on the Airbus A310 aircraft) is a eurowhite scheme with the titles and the tailfin painted in dark blue.
  • Today's color scheme (introduced in 2006 on the A318) is a slightly modified version of the previous one, with an oversized logo on the tailfin, and the engine pods also painted in dark blue.
  • All aircraft in the TAROM fleet receive a "name" which is a Romanian toponym. For instance, the names of the ATR aircraft in the fleet are related to the rivers of Romania, the Boeing aircraft bear names of Romanian cities, the Airbus long-haul aircraft bear Romanian historical province names, while the new Airbus A318 bear names of Romanian aviation pioneers[12]
  • In 2009, marking airline's 55th anniversary, a Boeing 737-700 (YR-BGG "Craiova") was painted in a retro jet colorscheme, representing airline's first livery used in 1950s on Lisunov Li-2 airplanes.

Incidents and accidents

  • The most serious accident occurred on 31 March 1995 when an Airbus A310-324 (YR-LCC "Muntenia") - operating a Bucharest to Brussels service - crashed soon after take-off, killing all onboard. See Tarom Flight 371. Several other TAROM incidents, some with fatalities, are recorded by the Aircraft Crash Record Office.[13]
  • On September 24, 1994, a Tarom Airbus A-310, Flight 381 from Bucharest on approach to Paris Orly went into a sudden and uncommanded nose-up position and stalled. The crew attempted to countermand the plane's flight control system but were unable to get the nose down while remaining on course. Witnesses saw the plane climb to a tail stand, then bank sharply left, then right, then fall into a steep dive. Only when the dive produced additional speed was the crew able to recover steady flight. An investigation found that an overshoot of flap placard speed during approach, incorrectly commanded by the captain, caused a mode transition to flight level change. The auto-throttles increased power and trim went full nose-up as a result. The crew attempt at commanding the nose-down elevator could not counteract effect of stabilizer nose-up trim, and the resulting dive brought the plane from a height of 4100 feet at the time of the stall to 800 feet when the crew was able to recover command. The plane landed safely after a second approach. There were 186 people aboard.[14][15]
  • On December 30, 2007, a Tarom Boeing 737-300, (YR-BGC "Constanţa") hit a car on the runway of Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport while taking off for Sharm-el-Sheikh. See TAROM Flight 3107. The plane stopped beside the runway and was severely damaged.[16] None of the passengers was injured. Because of fog neither the tower nor the pilots saw the car belonging to staff who were repairing a runway beacon.
  • On 29 December 1974, an Antonov An-24 (YR-AMD) operating on a domestic scheduled flight from Bucharest to Sibiu, crashed into the side of the Mountains (Muntii) Lotrului (22 km south of Sibiu) at an altitude of 1700 m, killing all 28 passengers and 5 crew members. The crew's incorrect approach procedure execution, which led to the aircraft drifting south off course by 20 km, while the wind was increasing turbulence was present.[17]
  • On 7 August 1980, a Tupolev 154B-1 (YR-TPH) operating on an international scheduled flight from Bucharest Otopeni Airport (OTP), Romania, to Nouadhibou Airport (NDB), Mauritania, ditched in the water, 300m short of the runway at Nouadhibou Airport. The crew couldn't see the runway while descending through the 90m decision height. A missed approach procedure was initiated when the pilot felt contact with the what he thought was ground, but was actually water.[18] All of the 152 passengers and 16 crew members survived the impact, but a passenger suffered a heart attack and died before he could be rescued. Most of the passengers were sailors who were going to replace the crew of two Romanian ships located on the Mauritanian coast. Many passenger swam to the land, while sharks were kept away by the vibrations of an engine which continued to function few hours after the crash.
  • On 5 September 1986, an Antonov An-24 (YR-AMF) operating on a domestic scheduled flight from Bucharest Baneasa (BBU), touched down nose wheel-first while landing at the Cluj Airport (CLJ). A fire erupted, killing three crew members who were trapped in the cockpit. The other 2 crew members and all 50 passengers survived.[19]

References

  1. ^ "Participation Announcement To The Tender Procedure For Public Procurement - Information Technology Services." TAROM. 12 June 2008. Retrieved on 28 February 2010. "The headquarters of S.C. Compania Nationala de Transporturi Aeriene Romane TAROM S.A., placed in Otopeni, Calea Bucurestilor 224F, Ilfov County, Romania ( Henri Coanda International Airport-Bucharest, International Departures Terminal, 2nd Floor)."
  2. ^ Cotidianul Press Release
  3. ^ Airline companies in Rumania (1918-1945)
  4. ^ CH Aviation - TAROM Fleet
  5. ^ Airliner World, January 2007
  6. ^ BucharestHerald.ro
  7. ^ Tarom Fleet Age
  8. ^ TAROM Technical Division
  9. ^ Codeshare partners
  10. ^ TAROM Signs an agreement with SkyTeam to Join the Alliance as Associate Airline, SkyTeam, 7 may 2008
  11. ^ SkyTeam.com
  12. ^ TAROM homepage
  13. ^ BAAA-ACRO.com
  14. ^ UFCNA.com
  15. ^ MIT.edu
  16. ^ HotNews.ro
  17. ^ Aviation-Saftey.net
  18. ^ Aviation-Safety.net
  19. ^ Aviation-Safety.net

External links


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