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TAME, Linea Aerea del Ecuador, commonly referred to as Tame, is the Ecuadorian airline with its headquarters located in Quito, Ecuador. The airline was founded on December 17, 1962, one of its objective is to offer air transport for people and freight services to various cities in Ecuador as well as in one city in Colombia, Cali. Moreover, TAME offers charter flights to: Cartagena, San Andres, Panama, Punta Cana, Jamaica, Havana, Varadero and Curacao, TAME works alongside several tour operators: Decameron, Viamerica, Feritur, PGV and Maxitravel. The company has expanded its domestic routes and renovated its fleet with new models, such as Airbus A320 and A319, as well as Embraer 170 and 190, with this new fleet TAME covers various routes in Ecuador and at a international level, the airline offers scheduled flights as well as charter flights.


The creation of TAME is the result of a clever fusion between the need for the Ecuadorian Air Force to finance itself and the decision to offer transport services to the most remote regions of the country.

There was a pressing need to achieve a high standard in the training skills of the Air Force pilots, which also meant great expenses in the training. Another important reason was that national integration was absolutely essential, especially in the most remote regions of the country, where the communication channels were minimal or nonexistent.

Therefore, these factors inspired Colonel Luis A. Ortega to propose the creation of an Ecuadorian Air Force Airline. The dissertation he wrote in order to obtain his promotion to Mayor included the organizational outline, operation costs, routes and the objectives of the airline.

The Colonels proposal had the complete support of the Commanding General of the Ecuadorian Air Force, Colonel Guillermo Freile Posso, who gave the authorization to start the creation of TAME. As Colonel Ortega recalls Our goals have always been ambitious, we want to work with energy and dedication in order to place TAME as the most important airline in Ecuador.

Gradually, TAME grew both in infrastructure and clients. The resources obtained from the most profitable routes were invested in the improvement of the fleet, facilities and other necessary elements needed in order to have an adequate operation of the airline.

First flights

The memories of that first flight in December, 1962 are still present in the minds of those who have closely followed TAMEs trajectory, the commercial airline that in its 46 years has become the most prestigious representative of airfreight of Ecuador at an international standard. The first flight was directed by Teodoro Malo, the route was Quito-Esmeraldas-Bahia-Manta- Guayaquil-Cuenca-Quito.

When the retired General Jose Montesinos talks about TAMEs first years, he remembers with nostalgia how In 1960, we held the rank of Major, we were pilots of the Dakota C-47 plane, it had lateral seats and the noncommissioned officers worked as flight attendants.

On December 4, 1962; Majors Luis A. Ortega, Hector Granja, Eduardo Sandoval, Alfredo Barreiro, Oswaldo Lara, Julio Espinosa, Teodoro Malo and Jose Montesinos were young pilots at the Ecuadorian Air Force when they flew TAMEs inauguration flights.

It seems quite surreal now to remember that the first reception lounge was made up of furniture which belonged to the Casino of the Officers of the 1st air area. Likewise, the uncomfortable seats of the Dakota C-47 had to be adapted in order to provide comfort to the passengers. These limited beginnings in the infrastructure, now create a great contrast with the progress TAME has made throughout the years. Now TAME is a modern airline, it offers a good service and has a complete and efficient fleet.

TAME has consolidated its service and image throughout the years. TAME replaced the DC-3 and DC-6 planes and later on the Avro and Electra planes.

At the beginning, passengers attention was precarious, the airline could not print tickets and the Ecuadorian Air Force Paymaster only gave a receipt at the moment of boarding the plane. There has been so many changes in the last 46 years; nowadays, TAME is the pioneering airline in matters of pre-check in, thus, relieving the passengers from waiting in the endless lines that are formed in front of the counters.


TAMEs colors are blue, light blue and gold, which is a decorative element. The former logo symbolized the flight of a bird, it had a sun as its background and the design used to be located in the planes tail. The logo was created by Luis A. Ortega, who created and developed the logo at the beginning of TAMEs life. Over a year ago, TAME decided to renovate its image, it was due to this reason that TAME decided to undergo an extension branding program with the help of the advertising companies LAFACULTAD and ALMA. This program integrates all the processes for the projection of the brand, from the smallest details, such as stickers, to the implementation of the logo in the planes such renovation will be implemented gradually. The renovation of the graphic design was in charge of the advertising agency La Facultad. The agency was able to conceptualize the new emblem; it is the representation of a bird in an ascending flight. A new light blue color replaced the formerly used dark blue, thus, symbolizing the renovation of the airlines fleet.

Fleet History

TAME is the perfect image of a successful company, which is visible in its infrastructure growth. During its early beginnings, they conducted domestic air flights with C-47 planes. Over the next couple of years, D-3 and D-6 planes were incorporated, and then in 1970, two HS-748 Avro were acquired.

TAME, given the growing demand for its service, found itself in the situation where they had to buy 4 Lockheed L 188 Electra Jet Prop, a four-engine plane. These planes allowed TAME to take a great leap forward in its development and thus, being able to direct the necessary financial resources in order to capitalize its progress in the future. The L-188 Electra had previously been owned by Ecuatoriana de Aviacion, the now non-existing Ecuadorian airline.

By the end of the 70s and beginnings of the 80s, TAME added to its fleet 3 Boeing 727-100. During mid-80s and up until 1992, Tame was able to acquire 4 Boeing 727-200 through a strategic internal expansion and service.

In 1986, TAME added to its fleet 3 Fokker F28 Fellowship 4000.

Once TAME had these planes in its fleet, plus all the experience the pilots and crew were able to obtain from the charter flights they offered to various cities around the world, TAME started to take a peek into the International air service.

In December 1998, TAME, in an unimaginable effort, gave a great leap forward in matters of quality and quantity proportions, through the rental of the Boeing 757-200. This new equipment allowed TAME to confront the following years of constant demand with innovative systems. TAME, Ecuadors airline started a renovation process of its fleet in 2000.

The first step taken towards this goal was in the incorporation of two Airbus A320 planes that TAME rented for a five-year period. These planes were delivered at the European Corporation Assemble factory, in Toulouse, they are the manufacturers of these modern planes. The main roof these planes are: Quito, Guayaquil and Galapagos, starting September 24, 2003. At the same time these planes were acquired, TAME started the gradual withdrawal of the Boeing 727-100 and 200, given that these planes had already worked their productive lives.

Finally, after a long process that took 35 months, TAME has completed 75% of the renovation process of its fleet. This process took such an extensive period of time due to the fact that there were 10 months where the company studied, analyzed and compared various types of planes that would meet all the requirements needed to fly through the difficult routes that the company offers. These studies lead to the decision of the Board of Directors to acquire Embraers 170/190 planes. This decision implied a letter of intent of purchase of 2 models of the 170 series and 1 of the 190 series, while at the same time keeping open the possibility to acquire 4 more planes of the 190 series, all of these from the Brazilian manufacturer.

The following two years were the time needed in order to carry out all the legal dispositions applicable to the state-owned airline.

TAME now has 9 brand new planes: 3 Airbus A 320-233Y and 1 Airbus A 319. In March 2006, the first 2 Embraer ERJ-170 arrived, then in June 2006, the first Embraer ERJ-190. Later that year, on December 2007, two more models of the ERJ-190 arrived to the country..

In 2008, 3 A320 were returned to the lesser due to the increase of the lease of the planes. In replacement for these planes, TAME received two Airbus A320.

On August 25, 2008, one Airbus A319 was incorporated into the fleet, which increased the TAMEs fleet capacity. Two months later, TAME received an Airbus A320, which replaced one of the original A320. On august 25, 2009; TAME received a brand new Airbus A320, with this plane; TAME finished its fleet renovation process. This plane came with TAMEs new colors and logo, this is proof of TAMEs image of modernization.

Current fleet

In the present, TAME is conformed of the following planes:

3 Airbus A320-233

* HC-CGW Ciudad de Quito (2 classes: Business (12) y Coach (138))

* HC-CGJ Ciudad de Guayaquil (150 passengers / One Class)

* HC-CID (162 passengers / One Class)

1 Airbus A319

* HC-CGT Ciudad de Esmeraldas

3 Embraer ERJ-190 (104 passengers / One Class)

* HC-CEZ Ciudad de Cuenca

* HC-CGF Ciudad de Loja

* HC-CGG Ciudad de Manta

2 Embraer ERJ-170 (76 passengers / One Class)

* HC-CEY Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

* HC-CEX Francisco de Orellana


TAME currently serves 13 cities in Ecuador, two cities (Cali), (San Andres) in Colombia, three cities (Rio de Janeiro), (Manaus) and (Sao Paulo) in Brazil and one city (Punta Cana) in The Dominican Republic. All destinations are served from the main hub in Quito (UIO) and the secondary hub in Guayaquil (GYE), except the flight to Cali which stops at Tulcan.






Guayaquil Hub

Lago Agrio






Quito Hub

San Cristobal Island

Galapagos Islands Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara



* Cartagena de Indias [charter]

* San Andres [charter]

* Havana [charter]

* Varadero [charter]

*Punta Cana[charter]

* Panama city [charter]




Santiago de Chile

TAME, the Ecuadorian Airline started its regular international flights on April 30, 1966 by flying to the following destinations: Havana, Panama and Santiago de Chile. In 1997, TAME transported passengers to Los Angeles, Taipei and Hong Kong through Panama, these flights were possible due to an agreement signed between TAME and EVA AIR from Taiwan. In 1995, TAME flew connecting flights: Quito-Bogota-Quito, 3 days a week, for Air France passengers.

On December 1992, the governments of Ecuador and Colombia signed the Frontier Integration Agreement and they established the following route: Quito-Esmeraldas (Tachina)-Cali-Esmeraldas (Tachina)-Quito. This route was important because it meant a great leap in the route expansion.


TAME has a quite an extensive space in the International Airport Mariscal Sucre in order to provide maintenance for its planes.

This space is especially designed for planes that require routine inspections or have mechanical or electronic problems, plane that may require engineer repairs, internal modifications, motor change, etc.

The fleet renewal was an important step at improving the safety record of the airline. It was determined that the aging Boeing 727 jets . were best replaced by the Airbus A320 family, and the Fokker F28 aircraft by Embraer E-170 and E-190 jets. On June 30, 2009, HC-BZS operated its last revenue flight between Guayaquil and Quito, ending the era of the Boeing 727[3]. The replacement, Airbus A320 HC-CID began operations on August 27, 2009 , as a consequence TAME now operates a fleet of 4 A320 family and 5 Embraer jets.

Incidents and accidents

September 6, 1969: Twelve men and one woman, armed with machine guns, hijacked two TAME Douglas C-47s at Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport. The hijackers shot and killed one crewman and wounded another. The hijackers told the passengers that the hijacking was in retaliation for the deaths of several students during anti-government rioting at the University of Guayaquil in May 1969. Both aircraft flew to Tumaco, Colombia for refueling. One aircraft was left behind as the hijackers continued on to Panama's Tocumen International Airport. After a thirty-minute refueling stop, the aircraft continued to Kingston, Jamaica. After a 71-minute refueling stop, the plane left Kingston at 21:00, finally landing in Cuba.

January 20, 1976: A TAME Hawker Siddeley HS-748-246 Srs. 2A with registration HC-AUE crashed while flying over mountainous terrain at 10,000 feet. The aircraft struck trees with its right wing, lost control and crashed into the side of the mountain. The plane was en route from Loja to Guayaquil's Simon Bolivar International Airport. Six crewmembers and 28 passengers died, while eight passengers survived the crash.

May 22, 1981: A TAME de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 with registration HC-BAX crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain near Zumba while flying in formation with a Beech 200 (HC-BHG), which also crashed into the mountain. Fifteen passengers and three crewmembers on the Twin Otter died.

July 11, 1983: A TAME Boeing 737-200 with registration HC-BIG crashed 173 minutes before landing at Mariscal Lamar Airport in Cuenca. The investigation concluded that the accident occurred due to the crew's inexperience with the aircraft type. There were 119 fatalities, in addition to the flight crew, making it the worst accident in the history of Ecuadorian aviation.

November 20, 1984: A TAME de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 crashed into a hill while flying between Loja and Zumba. Twelve passengers and two crewmembers died.

April 20, 1988: Air France Flight 422, a TAME Boeing 727-200 with registration HC-BSU, crashed into the El Cable cerro minutes after taking off from Bogota's El Dorado International Airport. The flight was being operated by Air France to transport passengers who arrived in Bogota from Paris to Quito. The cause of the accident was determined to be a combination of bad weather and human error: the crew failed to execute the proper departure procedure immediately after takeoff, instead continuing in a straight line until impacting the hill. Fifty-three passengers and crew members died.

September 12, 1988: A TAME Lockheed L-188 Electra with registration HC-AZY took off from Lago Agrio airport on a ferry flight to Quito with the number 2 engine inoperative. Immediately after takeoff, the number 1 engine exploded in flames, causing the aircraft to veer left and crash. Six crewmembers and one passenger died.

July 17, 2001: A TAME Fokker F28 with registration HC-BMD departed the end of runway at Teniente Coronel Luis a Mantilla International Airport in Tulcan. There were no fatalities.

January 28, 2002: Flight 120, a Boeing 727-100 with registration HC-BLF, departed from Mariscal Sucre Airport in Quito on a flight to Cali, Colombia with a stopover in Tulcan, Ecuador. Several minutes before the aircraft was due to land in Tulcan, the control tower lost contact with the airport. The 727 collided with the Cumbal Volcano. All 94 passengers and crew died. The cause of the accident was determined to be human error, the captain having ordered the final turn at a speed that exceeded the maximum limit for the maneuver.

January 17, 2003: A TAME Fokker F28 with registration HC-BMD departed the end of runway 35 at International Airport Mariscal Sucre during an aborted takeoff. There were no fatalities. This was the same aircraft that suffered a similar incident in Tulcan two years before.


Fly Card- this type of product that TAME offers are pre-paid Trips. The card-owner of Fly Card has access to the following benefits:

Lower Fares, purchases can be done online, 365 days, 24 hours a day, from any part of the world, the person can acquire tickets to any of the destinations that TAME offers, every 3000 dollars spent in tickets, you get 1 free, and virtual technical assistance.


It is a sort of credit that TAME grants to companies, whether they are of a public or private domain, this credit allows the companies to buy airplane tickets and national load shipment. For more information, go to www.tame.com.ec

VIP Members

TAME offers VIP service to businessmen who need to make various trips during the year. For more information, go to www.tame.com.ec

External links



TAME Virtual

TAME Fleet

History of TAME's Electras

History of TAME's Color Schemes

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