Bolivia to convert air force carrier TAM into regular airline

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Bolivia's air force-owned and operated airline Transportes Aereos Militares (TAM) will be transformed into a state owned pubic corporation that will operate under the supervision of the country's Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) and Regulatory Authority of Telecommunications and Transport (ATT).

According to an ATT spokesperson, the process has already been decided by different government agencies and must be concluded by April 2015, although he expects TAM to be operating under civilian regulations in October.

While TAM's current primary goal is providing passenger and cargo air transport to destinations that are not commercially viable, the Bolivian law that regulates public corporations obliges them to "operate profitably". This might require a further restructuring of the Bolivian public air transport model.

TAM will become Bolivia's second state-owned airline, in addition to its its international flag carrier, Boliviana de Aviacion. Both airlines will be owned and operate under the purview of the Ministry of Public Works.

TAM currently serves 20 destinations, principally connecting remote minor towns in the Amazonas region with the country's larger cities. It operates a very heterogeneous fleet that includes BAe 146-200, Boeing 737-200 and 727-200 jets as well as Xian MA60, Fokker F27-400, Casa C-212, BAe J31 and Canadair CL-66 (Convair) turboprops