TAM Bolivia receives its first BAe 146

The Bolivian Air Force has taken delivery of its first BAe 146. Former Air Wisconsin BAe 146-200A FAB-100 (msn E2080 ex N290UE) was delivered to Grupo Aéreo de Transporte 71, also known as Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM), on 19 February. Bolivian President Evo Morales, Vice President Alvaro Garcia, and Minister of Defence Walker San Miguel took part in the inaugural flight from La Paz to Cochabamba and back. A ceremony was held at Cochabamba’s Jorge Wilstermann Airport in which President Morales baptized the 146 with a bottle of champagne. FAB-100 is one of two BAe 146s that TAM is acquiring from broker Tronos, under 60-month lease-to-buy arrangements. She arrived still wearing the dark blue bottom fuselage and engines of her United Express color scheme, but with a white top fuselage. She will initially be flown by foreign pilots until Bolivian pilots have been trained. Her introduction into service means that there is once again a BAe 146 in airline service in the western hemisphere.

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