TAM - Transporte Aereo Militar
TAM - Transporte Aereo Militar (the Bolivian Military Airline) is an airline based in La Paz, Bolivia. It is the civilian wing of the 'Fuerza Aerea Boliviana' (the Bolivian Air Force), operating passenger services to remote towns and communities in the North and Northeast of Bolivia.
A similar airline serving the Beni Department with small planes is Linea Aerea Amaszonas, using smaller planes than TAM.
The TAM website relates the history and Raison d'etre of TAM"El Grupo Aereo "71" (the Air group "71") known by the civil populace as Transporte Aereo Militar (TAM), is an essential part of the structure of the Bolivian Air Force and the fundamental element for the development and integration of the populations in the distant parts of the national territory."
TAM website,Historical summary/review.
The original name (from 1944) was "el Escuadron de Transporte Aereo" (ETA). In 1953 the name was changed to Transporte Aereo Militar. Back in 1945 the first planes were Douglas C-47s.
This heritage is reflected in the words "Grupo Aereo 71" appearing as part of the TAM logo.
TAM has services from La Paz and Santa Cruz (in eastern Bolivia) to many towns in the Beni Department and between towns in the Beni area. The major destinations are Trinidad (capital of the Beni Department) and Rurrenabaque (on the Beni River).
With its Fokker F27 (with 44 seats) and other smaller planes TAM supports the connection between the small towns and villages in the Departamentos Beni and Pando. The runways of those towns are grass- and mud-fields that unsuitable for larger aircraft. For example Boeing 727s, used by LAB and AeroSur, are not able to land or take off from these fields.
As an example TAM's focus is on Rurrenabaque (popularly known as Rurre) a popular tourist destination) indirectly serving Reyes (close to Rurre by road) and San Borja ("within reach" by road from Rurre). Itineraries from the TAM timetable of 2006/2007 include:
Monday: LP La Paz - RQ Rurrenabaque - SB San Borja - LP La Paz
Wednesday: CZ Santa Cruz - TR Trinidad - RQ Rurrenabaque - TR *Trinidad
Wednesday: LP La Paz - RQ Rurrenabaque - LP La Paz
Thursday: TR Trinidad - SR Santa Rosa - RY Reyes - SB San Borja - TR Trinidad
Friday: LP La Paz - RQ Rurrenabaque - LP La Paz
The TAM - Transporte Aereo Militar fleet (NOV/2008) consists of:
2 Xian MA60 FAB-96, FAB-97
1 Beechcraft 1900 FAB-43
4 BAE 146-200A FAB-100, FAB-101, FAB-102, FAB-103
1 Casa 212 FAB-86
1 Convair 580 FAB-74
TAM (in Spanish)
Fuerza Aerea Boliviana(the website of the FAB the Bolivian Air Force).