Definitions

TAROM

TAROM

S.C. „Compania Națională de Transporturi Aeriene Române – TAROM” S.A., commonly known simply as TAROM, is the flag carrier airline of Romania. Its main base is the Henri Coandă International Airport in Bucharest (formerly known as the Otopeni airport). The airline operates scheduled domestic services and international services to destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. 95% of TAROM is owned by the Romanian Government (Ministry of Transport). The brand name TAROM is an acronym for Transporturile Aeriene ROMâne (Romanian Air Transport). The airline transported 1.69 million passengers in 2007 (a 32.1% increase compared to the previous year); this makes TAROM the second-fastest growing airline in Europe, after Brussels Airlines.

History

The beginnings

TAROM was founded in 1920 under the name CFRNA - (French-Romanian Company for Air Navigation). The airline used French-built Potez aircraft for its passenger/mail service between Paris and Bucharest via several cities in Central Europe. In 1925, the city of Galaţi became the first destination in Romania served by regular flights. In 1926 the airline changed its name to CIDNA (The International Air Navigation Company). In 1930, the company adopted the name LARES (Liniile Aeriene Române Exploatate de Stat) while 1937 saw the merger of LARES with its competitor SARTA (Societatea Română de Transporturi Aeriene).

Post World War II

After World War II, when the Soviet Union had extended its influence across Eastern Europe, the airline TARS (Transporturi Aeriene Româno-Sovietice) was established on 8 August 1945, jointly-owned by the governments of Romania and the Soviet Union. Domestic operations were started from Bucharest (Baneasa Airport) on 1 February 1946. The company's Soviet share was purchased by Romania and, on 18 September 1954, the airline adopted the name of TAROM - (Transporturi Aeriene Române - Romanian Air Transport). By 1960, TAROM was flying to a dozen cities across Europe. 1966 saw the operation of its first trans-Atlantic flight. On May 14 1974, it launched a regular service to New York City - (JFK International Airport).

Being part of the group of the airlines belonging to Soviet Bloc states, TAROM operated Soviet-design Li-2, Ilyushin Il-14, Ilyushin Il-18, Ilyushin Il-62, Antonov An-24, and Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft. An exception was made in 1968 when it bought the BAC One Eleven in 1968 for European and Middle East destinations, and in 1974 when TAROM acquired Boeing 707 aircraft for its long haul operations. In 1978 a contract was signed with the UK to manufacture the BAC One Eleven near Bucharest. Meantime the 707 and Il-62 long range aircraft were operating New-York (via Amsterdam, later London and finally Vienna), Abu-Dhabi-Bangkok-Singapore, and Karachi-Beijing. TAROM was the only Soviet Bloc airline to operate flights to Tel-Aviv, Israel.

The 1990s

It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 that the airline was able to acquire more Western-built jets. By 1993, TAROM had introduced long haul flights to Montreal and Bangkok, using Ilyushin Il-62, and Airbus A310 aircraft.

During the 1990s, TAROM replaced its long-haul fleet of Boeing 707s and IL-62s with three new A310 jets. In 2001 the airline cancelled its non-profitable long haul services to Bangkok and Montreal and also terminated services to its remaining intercontinental destinations of Beijing (in 2003), Chicago (in 2002), and New York City (in 2003).

TAROM terminated loss-making domestic services to Craiova, Tulcea, Caransebeş, and Constanţa) and focused its activity on service to key destinations in Europe and the Middle East. 2004 was the first profitable year of the last decade.

Today

TAROM is recovering from a difficult period that began in the 1990s, when losses of up to $68 million a year were registered, caused by unprofitable routes. At the beginning of the new millennium, the airline initiated a program that was aimed at restoring profitability. This was achieved by terminating loss-making intercontinental services.

TAROM has decided to focus its operations on Bucharest (Henri Coandă International Airport) (OTP) and Cluj-Napoca International Airport (CLJ). Codeshare agreements with foreign partner airlines are in place for several international routes. To meet competition from Carpatair, which uses the city of Timişoara in Western Romania as its hub city, TAROM has initiated direct international flights from Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca and Bacău. In June 2005 it was announced as one of the future associate members of SkyTeam alliance, initially due to join by 2006. A fleet upgrade program started in 2006 with the acquisition of the first two Airbus A318 (from a total of four ordered) which resulted in a fleet increase from 16 planes (in Nov. 2006) to 22 (as of 2007).

In May 2008 Tarom was once again endorsed as a soon-to-be SkyTeam associate member, this time by Air France.

The airline has a frequent flyer programme Smart Miles.

Destinations

Fleet

The TAROM fleet consists of the following aircraft as of December 2007:
TAROM Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(Business/Economy)
Routes Notes
Airbus A310-300 2 209 (20/189) Madrid, Larnaca, Tel Aviv, Vienna Exit from service: 2008
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Airbus A318-111 4 113 (14/99) Europe, domestic (Cluj Napoca, Timişoara)
Boeing 737-300 4 116 (14/102)
124 (10/114)
138 (138) (Charter configuration)
Europe, charter
Boeing 737-700 4 116 (14/102) Europe, Middle East, Africa
Boeing 737-800 (3 orders) 189 To join the fleet in November 2008
ATR 42-500 7 48 (10/38) Domestic/International short haul
ATR 72-500 (2 orders) Domestic/International short haul Entry into service: 2009

In November and December 2006, Tarom took delivery of its first two Airbus A318-111 (YR-ASA and YR-ASB), becoming only the second commercial operator of this type of aircraft in Europe. In the fall of 2007, two more Airbus A318 have joined the fleet, bringing the total number of aircraft to four. The Airbus A318 planes are being used on routes from Bucharest to Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris and Vienna .
After reintroducing the 2 Airbus A310 to the fleet, Tarom realized their inefficiency and decided to sell them. Tarom Executives stated discussions with Airbus and Boeing are still underway, but 4 Boeing 737-800 will probably be chosen as replacements..

The average fleet age of the TAROM fleet is 8.8 years.

Retired fleet

Maintenance

TAROM - Technical Division is an aircraft maintenance provider. It employs 800 staff and specializes in maintaining ATR, Boeing 737 series, Airbus A310 and A320 aircraft. Other maintenance providers in Romania are Aerostar SA in Bacău and Romaero located at Băneasa Airport, Bucharest.

Codeshare agreements

TAROM has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of July 2007:

Alliances

In 2006 TAROM was scheduled to join SkyTeam as an associate member (sponsored by Alitalia), but the entry into the alliance was postponed until 2008.

On 7 may 2008 SkyTeam signed a SkyTeam Alliance Associate Adherence Agreement (SAAAA) agreement with the TAROM, indicating the airline is on the track to join the alliance as an Associate airline.

Livery

  • The TAROM logo, representing a swallow in flight, has been used on all TAROM aircraft since 1954.
  • In the 1970s livery the logo on the tail was painted in red, with a red cheatline.
  • The livery introduced in the early 1990s (on the Airbus A310 aircraft) is a eurowhite scheme with the titles and the tailfin painted in dark blue.
  • Today's color scheme (introduced in 2006 on the A318) is a slightly modified version of the previous one, with an oversized logo on the tailfin, and the engine pods also painted in dark blue.
  • All aircraft in the TAROM fleet receive a "name" which is a Romanian toponym. For instance, the names of the ATR aircraft in the fleet are related to the rivers of Romania, the Boeing aircraft bear names of Romanian cities, the Airbus long-haul aircraft bear Romanian historical province names, while the new Airbus A318 bear names of Romanian aviation pioneers

Incidents and accidents

  • The most serious accident occurred on 31 March 1995 when an Airbus A310-324 (YR-LCC "Muntenia") - operating a Bucharest to Brussels service - crashed soon after take-off, killing all onboard. See Tarom Flight 371. Several other TAROM incidents, some with fatalities, are recorded by the Aircraft Crash Record Office
  • On December 30. 2007 a Tarom Boeing 737-300, (YR-BGC "Constanţa") hit a car on the runway of Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport while taking off for Sharm-el-Sheikh. The plane stopped beside the runway and was severely damaged None of the passengers was injured. Because of fog neither the tower nor the pilots saw the car belonging to staff who were repairing a runway beacon. Footage of the accident: http://youtube.com/watch?v=P86Y0C65yJk

References

External links

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