TAM to be Americas launch operator of A350

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Brazil's TAM will be the launch operator of the Airbus A350 in the Americas, as it expects its first of the type to be delivered in late 2015.

TAM has orders for 27 A350-900s, to be delivered between late 2015 and 2019.

"The acquisition of these aircraft underlines our ongoing commitment to maintaining one of the most young and modern fleets in the world, with more efficient aircraft, lower environmental impact, and the best available technology in aviation, allowing us to deliver more comfort to our passengers," says Enrique Cueto, chief executive of LATAM Airlines Group, which TAM is a subsidiary of.

TAM will be the fourth airline in the world to receive and operate the A350-900, it says. Qatar Airways is scheduled to be the launch operator of the A350-900 and will take delivery in late 2014. Flightglobal's Ascend Fleets database shows that Vietnam Airlines and Finnair are the second and third airline respectively in line to take delivery of the aircraft, in 2015.

A prototype of the A350-900, MSN005, is now on show in Sao Paulo after a stop in Santiago.

Besides TAM, other airlines in the Americas that have placed orders for the A350 include Avianca Brazil, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.