Leading Brazilian carrier TAM Linhas Aéreas has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 22 A350 XWBs, as well as for four additional A330-200s. TAM was the launch customer for the A350 in Latin America when it signed a contract for ten aircraft in December 2005. Since then, and after a thorough evaluation of the new A350 XWB programme, TAM has more than doubled its requirement for the aircraft.
TAM currently operates a fleet of 86 Airbus aircraft, including 15 A319s, 61 A320s and ten A330-200s, and is Airbus' largest customer in Latin America.
"We thoroughly reviewed the A350 XWB programme, and we are very confident that this aircraft will set new standards of passenger comfort, operating economics and low emissions in our growing long-haul markets" said Marco Bologna, President of TAM, "The A330s in our fleet already provide us with an excellent level of economics combined with superior passenger appeal. The A350 XWB will further consolidate our successful growth into the future, and responds to our needs for our long-term development."
"We are very proud to have a successful, well respected airline like TAM confirm its choice for the A350 XWB", said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. "We are very grateful for this strong endorsement of the A350 XWB programme, and with the additional four A330s we are also pleased to be playing a major role in TAM's continued expansion of its long-haul network. We are delighted with our long-standing partnership with TAM, and look forward to continuing this relationship into the future."
With TAM's endorsement, total firm orders and commitments for the A350 XWB programme stand at 254 aircraft (154 firm orders and 100 commitments).
The A350 XWB (Extra Wide-Body) is Airbus' newest aircraft model and will be the world's most technically advanced aircraft when it enters service in 2013. Designed to increase productivity and offer unparalleled levels of passenger comfort in its class, the A350 XWB will offer the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile costs of any aircraft in that category. Addressing environmental concerns and cost-effectiveness, the A350 XWB will be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft ever.
The A330 is already the aircraft of choice for more than 60 customers and operators around the world and is the unquestioned leader in its class with a commanding market share and a continually expanding operator base. The A330 provides the operator with a significant competitive advantage in the market today through very low operating costs per seat, as well as the widest and most comfortable cabin in its category. TAM already operates ten A330-200s on its international routes to New York, Miami, London and Paris.
Airbus is an EADS company.