Executives at Brazilian carrier TAM are studying spinoff opportunities for the company's maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit and frequent flyer program.

A decision is expected by the end of the year, TAM CFO Libano Miranda Barroso said during a call with investors today.

The carrier says in its quarterly filing it is expanding opportunities through its Sao Carlos maintenance centre, with a goal of becoming "a large maintenance service provider to airline companies flying to South America".

As for its frequent flyer program, revenues for that portion of its business during the second quarter were R$101.4 million, up 41.5% from R$71.7 million during the same quarter last year.

"Our strategy is to intensify customer loyalty, enabling us to increase revenues through our points program, which saw a 40% increase in 2007," the carrier says in its quarterly filing.

TAM also expects to announce participation in a global alliance in September or October, Barroso says, adding he is confident the move will have positive results.

The airline inked codeshare deals with several Star alliance members this year, including TAP Portugal, Swiss International Air Lines and Air Canada.

Star alliance has been keen to add Latin American members since Mexicana exited the group in 2004 and Varig quit last year.

Earlier this year Star Alliance chief Jaan Albrecht outlined his optimism of bringing TAM into the grouping.

Regardless of alliance membership, TAM aims to grow international revenues as the carrier eyes more European destinations.

The carrier expects to grow international revenue to 40%-50% of total sales by the end of the year, says CFO Barroso.

In the mean time TAM is launching year-round service between Sao Paulo-Bariloche, Argentina, which the carrier served on a trial basis between 3 July and 10 August. The airline plans to use 174-seat Airbus A320 aircraft on the route. No other carrier flies between Sao Paulo and Bariloche, according to Innovata.


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news


Source: Air Transport Intelligence news