LATAM to sell 10 A330s by end-2014

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Latin American airline group LATAM will sell 10 Airbus A330s by the end of 2014 as it aims to reduce operating costs at its Brazilian subsidiary TAM.

The airline has already grounded three of TAM's oldest A330s and will eventually ground 10 aircraft in all, LATAM vice president of investor relations and research Gisela Escobar said in the airline's second quarter earnings call on 20 August.

The 10 A330s, operated on TAM's long-haul routes, are in the process of being sold, she adds.

The sale of the aircraft will halve the number of A330-200s in LATAM's combined fleet, according to the airline's fleet plan. It will end 2014 with 10 of the type, instead of 20 at the end of 2013.

"We replaced some of that [A330] reduction with [Boeing] 767s from LAN that are going to TAM," says Escobar. The 767s have a significantly lower cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) than the A330s, she adds.

Configured with lie-flat seats in business class, the 767s also provide an improved product for the premium passenger, notes Escobar.

TAM's oldest A330s have in-service dates ranging from the late 1990s to early 2000s, Flightglobal's Ascend Online database shows.