This time, there was no last-minute reprieve for Bolivia’s Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM). The airline was forced to suspend operations on 31 July when the latest deadline for it to receive civil certification passed. Just two days ago, the airline had announced that it was “concluding its first cycle of operations” as a military airline and “beginning the process of transition” to a civil airline, as its certification was “in its final stage”. On 1 August, however, the Minister of Defense stated that “sadly the procedures for certification have not been completed” and that accordingly TAM would cease flying. The Minister held out hope that the airline could resume flying if certification is achieved in the next few months. In addition to certification problems, TAM also faces a large unpaid tax bill, which the national tax authority bluntly reminded them of two days ago. The airline has been operating with a limited fleet consisting of BAe 146-200 FAB-106 (msn E2048) and a Boeing 737-300 and Fokker F27. As a civil airline, however, it was planning to use two Avro RJ70s: FAB-107 (msn E1252), which has been at Cochabamba since last August, and FAB-108 (msn E1230), which stopped at Southend in January while en route to Bolivia and has been parked there since.
Recent news items on TAM: