TAM tax bill may affect operations


TAM BAe 146 FAB-106

BAe 146 FAB-106 is one of two still active with TAM; she is seen here at La Paz’s El Alto airport (cv880m)

Bolivia’s National Tax Service has ordered Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM) to pay about BOB100 million (about USD14 million) in back taxes for 2008 and 2009, and has threatened to garnish its revenue sources if it fails to do so. TAM has had a long-running dispute with the tax service over whether it should pay taxes, claiming that as a military unit it is not subject to them. TAM is now claiming that paying the overdue taxes will affect its ability to obtain spares, hampering its ability to operate. A review by Santa Cruz newspaper El Deber found the airline to have only three operational aircraft in early November: BAe 146-200s FAB-105 (msn E2022) and FAB-106 (msn E2048), and Boeing 737-200 FAB-118. Most of the rest of the airline’s fleet (seventeen aircraft, including five BAe 146s) are stored at La Paz or Cochabamba. Many of these aircraft, however, were parked long before the current financial problems. Some of the BAe 146s, like FAB-101 (msn E2041), have been stored since as long ago as 2010, while FAB-104 (msn E2024), never entered service, having been acquired as a spares source. FAB-103 (msn E2040) is on display at the Bolivian Air Force Air and Space Museum, at El Alto Airport near La Paz.

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