Brazil Airport Restrictions Won’t Affect TAM, Airline Says

A TAM plane in Congonhas airport, São Paulo, Brazil Brazilian leading airline TAM informed that measures announced Thursday, September 13, by Brazil's Minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, concerning the runway reductions at Congonhas airport, in São Paulo, by 300 meters to establish escape areas will not have much effect on that airline operations.

Starting this weekend, landings and takeoffs by the Airbus A319 and A320, which make up the company's fleet, will be done exclusively using the main runway.

The A319 Airbus will continue to operate at Congonhas without restrictions under dry runway conditions, and with minimal restrictions for takeoff from wet runways. TAM has 15 planes of this type, seven of them for the São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro shuttle service.

According to TAM, the Airbus A320 will also continue to land and take off as usual, using the main runway when it is dry.  When the runway is wet, there will be slight weight limitations for landing and takeoff.  TAM has 62 A320 aircraft in its fleet.

Preliminary estimates show that only 2% of TAM flights at Congonhas would be affected by the new runway configuration.  As far as the number of flights is concerned to and from this airport there will be no immediate change.

New Planes

TAM Linhas Aéreas has taken delivery of its first two A321s, which are powered by International Aero Engines V2500s and seat 220 passengers in a single-class layout.

TAM already operates an Airbus fleet of 86 aircraft comprising 15 A319s, 61 A320s, and 10 A330s and is Airbus' largest customer in Latin America.

The new A321s will be put into service on TAM's domestic and regional network.

"With the A321 we will be able to open up new routes and offer new services to our passengers by connecting important cities. Furthermore, the A321 will provide us with the lowest seat-mile costs in this market segment, allowing us to optimize our network in the Southern cone of Latin America, whilst maintaining a high level of passenger comfort." said Marco Antonio Bologna, TAM's president.

The largest member of the Airbus A320 Family, the A321, has a range of up to 5,600 km/3,000 nm. In Latin America more than 230 A320 Family aircraft are in operation with ten of the region's airlines.

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