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TAM cancels Heathrow to Rio route

Published: 14/01/2014 - Filed under: News »

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TAM Airlines is cancelling its London Heathrow to Rio De Janeiro route from March, but will temporarily reopen the service during this summer's football World Cup in Brazil.

The Brazilian carrier currently deploys a B767-300ER on the thrice-weekly route.

The service will be terminated on March 17, but will resume between June 3 and July 19 during the period when Brazil hosts the World Cup.

TAM, which is part of the merged LATAM Group with Chile's LAN (see news, December 2011), will continue to operate its daily LHR to Sao Paulo route.

The airline said in a statement: "After analysing items such as efficiency, demand and route costs, the airline chose to make the adjustment in order to drive load factors and profitability on its international routes.

"In order to meet the high demand anticipated for the months of June and July, the airline expects to resume the three current weekly services between Rio de Janeiro and London over the summer.

"Customers who have previously acquired tickets are advised to contact the sales, loyalty and service centre on 020 8741 2005 in order to change their flights or request a full refund."

Jorge Vilches, head of LATAM's international business unit, said: "We want to assure passengers flying from London that they can still reach Rio de Janeiro via regular domestic flights from Sao Paulo seven days a week.

"We are configuring the operation in our connections centre to ensure the layover impacts as little as possible on t"he journey time so that passengers can enjoy the best possible flight experience."

tam.com

Graham Smith

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COMMENTS » 

sparkyflyer - 14/01/2014 12:02

This is very surprising indeed, but maybe not after some thought. They do not have a huge market presence here, and BA have increased capacity, moving from 3 x 772 a couple of years ago, to daily 77W.

A problem TAM had was a frequency - 3 times a week was not quite enough, they needed a 4th flight to help capture the business traffic - Rio is not just a tourist destination but also a big oil and gas centre now.

I recall they did have 3 extra slots once, but decided not to use them (also they are reducing their fleet following the LAN merger). I think they should swap slots with BA and start offering flights to Brasilia and Recife, enabling passengers to then fly to/from theese cities and capture TAM's vast domestic network.

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