TAM Airlines’ first Airbus A350 XWB lands in Brazil
The first A350 XWB in the Americas, owned by TAM Airlines, landed in Brazil in the early hours last Friday 18 December. The aircraft left the headquarters of Airbus in Toulouse, France on 17 December and flew directly to Belo Horizonte/Confins in Brazil to obtain its Brazilian registration.
The inaugural commercial flight of the A350 XWB, tail number PR-XTA, is scheduled for January, 2016, from São Paulo/Guarulhos to Manaus, Amazonas. The inaugural flight will allow different areas of the company, particularly operations, to gain familiarity with the new model, which is part of the latest generation of long-haul aircraft. In March, the A350 XWB will begin operating international services from São Paulo/Guarulhos to Miami, USA. In April, the aircraft will begin flying from São Paulo/Guarulhos to Madrid, Spain and, still in the second half of the year, from São Paulo/Guarulhos to Orlando, USA.
“We are very happy to celebrate receiving the first A350 XWB in the Americas. We are pioneers in bringing this aircraft to the region, and its arrival in the Americas reinforces our constant commitment to maintaining one of the youngest and most innovative fleets in the world. We want to offer our passengers even greater comfort, with aircraft equipped with the most modern aviation technology, that are more efficient and produce lower environmental impact,” said Claudia Sender, CEO of TAM S.A.
TAM’s A350 XWB touches Brazilian soil for the first time, in Belo Horizonte/Confins
Credit: Lucas Ulhôa – CNF ao vivo
TAM, a member of LATAM Airlines Group, is the fourth airline in the world to receive and operate the Airbus A350 XWB. The company has ordered 27 aircraft of this model, through an investment of US$7 billion (according to the list price of aircraft), which are scheduled to be delivered through 2021. In 2016, the company plans to receive six A350 XWBs. In September of this year, LATAM Airlines Group changed its order for six of the A350-900s for six A350-1000s due to its greater capacity to carry passengers.
“We always pay close attention to the scenario and adjust our fleet renewal plan to obtain optimum aircraft allocation in each market. The A350 XWB joins our fleet with the mission of operating as one of the main aircraft on long-haul flights to the United States and Europe. The combination of its wider fuselage, advanced composite material and unique cabin provide an even more pleasant travel experience and more efficient operations,” said José Zaidan Maluf, vice-president of Fleet and Engines at LATAM Airlines Group.
Introducing an aircraft like the A350 XWB to the aviation market in the Americas and, as a result, Brazil, posed additional challenges for TAM. “Daring is in our DNA. Launching the A350 XWB in Brazil demanded work from a multidisciplinary team dedicated exclusively to this project, in addition to support from several other areas that prepared to operate this innovative aircraft. We thank TAM and LATAM Airlines Group employees for all of their hard work, as well as the companies and authorities involved in this project,” said Ruy Amparo, vice-president of Operations and Maintenance at TAM.
The A350 XWB features the latest innovations in aerodynamics, design and cutting-edge technology, leading to 25 per cent lower operating costs (including fuel consumption). The aircraft is produced 70 per cent from composite material, titanium and aluminum alloys, which makes it not only lighter, but also more efficient and resistant to corrosion and fatigue. Its wider body ensures a more comfortable travel experience. TAM’s new aircraft model is configured to serve different passenger profiles, with 348 seats, 318 in Economy Class and 30 full flat seats in Premium Business class.
The A350 XWB will offer passengers an even more relaxing flight experience, while reducing the sensation of fatigue, even after long journeys. The air inside the cabin is fully renewed every two or three minutes and kept at an ideal temperature. Innovative lighting concepts help reduce jet lag, notably through the overall sensation of quality and space of the cabin. Passengers will enjoy a better field of view with panoramic windows and roomier overhead compartments to store their carry-on luggage. The Airbus A350 XWB also produces up to 25 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to other aircraft used in long-haul operations.
The fourth A350 XWB aircraft, planned for delivery in June of next year, will arrive with an additional feature: it will come with a third service class, Economy Plus, offering more legroom between seats. The aircraft will offer 30 seats in Premium Business class, 63 in Economy Plus and 246 in Economy Class.