South American airline TAM has unveiled the first destinations for its brand new A350 XWB, which will be delivered to Brazil in December 2015. The state-of-the-art, next-generation aircraft will be deployed on a domestic route initially, before being deployed on international routes to Madrid and Miami.
The first commercial flight will take place in January 2016 between São Paulo/Guarulhos and Manaus. In March the A350 XWB will commence international services between Miami and Sao Paulo/Guarulhos and in April it will enter service on the Sao Paulo/Gaurulhos-Madrid route.
Ruy Amparo, vice president of operations and maintenance for TAM, said: “We chose São Paulo/Guarulhos to Manaus as the first destination where the A350 XWB will be deployed so the different areas of our company can get familiarized with this new state-of-the-art long-range aircraft.
“Furthermore, it is imperative for us to have an aircraft of this size flying on this route, even in a temporary way, since this is one of Brazil and TAM Cargo’s leading air cargo routes.”
Pilots currently operating the TAM A330 fleet will complete on-the-ground and in-flight training over a period of 60 days to make sure they’re fully accustomed to the A350. These pilots have been handpicked to operate this latest aircraft due to the similarities between the two Airbus planes. TAM says this will significantly reduce costs surrounding maintenance, training and operations.
The TAM A350 will feature 348 seats in a two-class configuration with 318 seats in Economy and 30 in Business Class.
Arranged in forward-facing 2-2-2 layout, the Business Class cabin will have seats that convert into fully-flat beds. TAM’s new seats are the product of design company PriestmanGoode, which has created very similar designs for both the A350 and the new 787-Dreamliner. From the rich wood textures of the Amazon to the iconic beaches of Ipanema, PriestmanGoode has used a palette of neutral tones inspired by South America’s colours, patterns and textures.
TAM will be the first airline in the Americas to operate the A350 XWB and the fourth airline globally, after Qatar Airways, Finnair and Vietnam Airways. The carrier has a total of 27 A350s on order, which will be delivered through to 2019.