Bolivia’s Transporte Aereo Militar (TAM) has grounded its complete fleet “at least until 11 May” to carry out preventive maintenance on its fleet.
TAM, which is operated by the air force but acts as a public service airline operating routes that are not commercially viable, offered few details about the cause of the decision.
A TAM source says that the decision was taken "in compliance with TAM’s safety plan".
Bolivia’s civil aviation authority DGAC would not comment on TAM’s decision either, adding that it has no authority over TAM since it is a military airline.
A source at the agency, however, says that the move was made after an aborted take-off in Cochabamba after an engine failure on 2 May.
It is not clear which aircraft was involved in the incident.
TAM operates three Boeing 737-300s, one 737-300 and two British Aerospace BAe 146 jets. However, the TAM source says only three aircraft are in operation, without specifying the aircraft type.
TAM is currently in the process of recertifying to become a civilian airline. However, it missed all deadlines established by the government and its future seems increasingly uncertain. Bolivian politicians have said that the country does not want to risk its US Federal Aviation Administration category 1 safety rating over a lack of supervision over TAM.