TAME Línea Aérea del Ecuador (Tame) is an Ecuadorian airline based at Quito International Airport. With its fleet of Embraer and Airbus aircraft, Tame operates an extensive domestic network, as well as international charter service to destinations in the Galapagos Islands, Dominican Republic, Panama, Cuba and Colombia.
Location of TAME main hub (Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport)
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Ecuador’s largest domestic carrier TAME is pursuing ambitious international expansion which will result in its international network growing from two to nine destinations in less than a year. TAME has added five new international destinations over the last six months, including Sao Paulo on 07-Jan-2013, and is planning to add Buenos Aires and New York by mid-2013. New York will be served with A330s as TAME becomes only the sixth airline group in Latin America to operate widebody aircraft.
The expansion is risky as TAME competes in its home market against Latin America’s largest airline groups – LAN and TAM parent LATAM and Avianca-TACA. The LAN-TAM and Avianca-TACA mergers have made it very difficult for small independent carriers to survive in Latin America, particularly those not following regional carrier models. TAME in recent years has been primarily a regional carrier, operating domestic routes below the radar screens of the big airline groups, but its current expansion puts the government-owned carrier into a much different and more competitive sector.
The major beneficiaries of this week’s frenetic (public relations) activity just outside Paris live half a world away. They are Asia’s emerging travellers – the millions that have never stepped inside an aircraft, but for whom air travel is becoming attainable. That opportunity took a major step forward as Asian carriers – many of whom the world had never heard of a decade or even five years ago – stepped up in front of the world’s media to order narrowbodies for the mass markets they see blossoming at home.
Two governments – those of Ecuador and Panama – announced in Jul-09 that they would convert military bases into commercial airport facilities. The Ecuadorean government sees the potential for a new regional hub at what was the US military’s narcotics surveillance base at Manta Eloy Alfaro International Airport while in Panama the government is keen to attract European tourists through the disused Howard Air Force base.