TAM Airlines (Paraguay)
|Founded||1962 as LAP
1996 as LAPSA
1998 as TAM
|Hubs||Silvio Pettirossi International Airport|
|Focus cities||Guarani International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Fidelidade TAM|
|Parent company||LATAM Airlines Group|
|Key people||Líbano Barroso (CEO)|
TAM Airlines, also known as Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur S.A., formerly known as TAM Mercosur and LAP (Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas), is the flag carrier and the national airline of Paraguay with its headquarters in Asunción, Paraguay. Its flights operate from Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asunción. The parent company is LATAM Airlines Group.
The airline was established in 1962 and started operations in 1963 as Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas. After a brief period (1994–1996) as a subsidiary of the Ecuadorian airline SAETA when its name was LAPSA, in 1996 the majority of the stakes of LAP were sold to the Brazilian airline TAM Airlines and the current acronym was adopted. This is not to be confused with a Bolivia military-run passenger service, Transporte Aéreo Militar, TAM, operating mainly DC-3 and CASA 212 aircraft to domestic underserved destinations and not related to the civilian airline.
In 1994 TAM Airlines established a small subsidiary airline in Paraguay, called ARPA - Aerolíneas Paraguayas, with a fleet consisting mostly of Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft, formerly operated by TAM. On 1 September 1996, ARPA purchased 80% of the shares of the former state-owned LAP - Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas and both airlines were merged under the name TAM - Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur. Today TAM owns 94.98% and the Paraguayan government 5.02% of the shares.
In 2008, following a branding strategy, the name TAM Mercosur was dropped and the airline adopted a corporate identity identical to its Brazilian owner, becoming TAM Airlines. However, its corporate structure remains the same.
The TAM Mercosur fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of December 2012):
|Airbus A320||5||12||144||156||Leased from TAM Airlines|
- "Directory: World airlines." Flight International. 30 March – 5 April 2004. 79. "Oliva 761 casi Ayolas / Meal. Lopez esq. Mayor Infante Rivarola, Asuncion, Paraguay"
- "TAM Airlines Consolidates Fleet and Initiates New Air Network." Reuters. Monday 26 May 2008. Retrieved on 2 February 2009.