Canadian travel agents have an new option for Brazil- and South American-bound clients with the launch of TAM Airlines service from Toronto, reports editor Michael Baginski in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
The carrier, part of the LATAM Group – a merger of TAM and LAN airlines – is now flying five times a week from Pearson airport via New York JFK, at which point passengers can carry on with TAM to São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport or connect onto the LAN network direct to destinations like Ecuador, Argentina and Chile.
TAM is Brazil’s largest carrier (and a member of the oneworld alliance) and has a vast network in South America. It is also the only Brazilian carrier currently operating in Canada. LAN had operated in Canada, but pulled service in 2011. Toronto is the fifth gateway for the LATAM Group in North America, which is represented in Canada by Mississauga-based GSA Airbridge.
“This is a strategic and important market for us,” Pablo Chiozza, Senior VP, LATAM Airlines Group, USA, Canada and Caribbean, said at at ribbon-cutting event at Pearson on March 30 for the first flight, attended by LATAM Airlines Group executives from New York and Miami and VIP guests, and coloured by a Brazilian band, food, and ceremonial cake.
Chiozza noted that 35% of Brazilians travelling to North America do so to Canada, adding, “With this launch, Canadian passengers can easily travel from Toronto via JFK to over 115 South American destinations in the LATAM Airlines Group network including Santiago, Chile, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”
Indeed, LATAM sees the new service as means for Canadians to travel to South America, not just Brazil.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier by clicking here.