TAM-Public Entreprise to operate Avro RJ70s?

After failing twice to secure suitable leases on Boeing 737s, Bolivia’s Transporte Aéreo Militar (TAM) appears to have turned to two Avro RJ70s, instead. TAM’s Director, General Julio César Villarroel Camacho, announced on 24 May that the airline would lease two RJ70s from India and Romania. The two aircraft, he said, are “practically babies, with low use, model 92, 25 years old, 19,000 flight hours and 15,000 cycles, [they] are in perfect conditions to continue flying.” These are presumably the former MDLR aircraft that have been stored at Delhi and Bacău since the airline shut down in 2009. After arriving in Bolivia, they will undergo major overhauls at TAM’s maintenance center before entering service in late June or early July. TAM faces a 30 June deadline to convert itself from a military unit to a civil state enterprise. It is currently operating a reduced number of routes using military facilities rather than civilian passenger terminals. Although the airline has several BAe 146s, none is thought to be currently operational. General Villarroel also stated that the airline is now current on its tax obligations, but the national tax service was quick to reply that the airline still owed BOB70 million (USD10 million).

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