Ecuador’s state-owned airline TAME will stop operating its sole remaining long-haul route connecting Quito with New York John F Kennedy on 1 February, and return its single Airbus A330-200 to its lessor.
The decision is part of a major strategic route and fleet reshuffle to stem losses at TAME, which in 2018 required a cash injection from the government of reportedly $65 million.
TAME's 19-year-old A330, registration HC-COH, is owned by Global Knafaim Leasing, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.
In November, TAME also returned one Airbus A319 and one A320 to their respective lessors. Both aircraft had remained parked for more than two years as the consequence of the airline lacking funds to perform necessary maintenance.
An airline spokesperson says that "the priority for 2019 is to reinforce TAME’s domestic operation under the aspects of both social and financial profitability, while reducing its international network".
The airline, which had operated a fleet of 20 aircraft five years ago following an aggressive international expansion strategy, now has only four A320 family aircraft and one Embraer 190 serving mostly domestic destinations. In addition, three ATR 42-500 turboprops are operated by regional subsidiary TAME Xpress.
After dropping New York, TAME's remaining international destinations are Fort Lauderdale, Bogota, Cali and Lima.
Source: Cirium Dashboard