TAM, Brazil’s largest airline, announced Friday night, December 22, that it had leased seven planes belonging to the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to transport its own passengers this weekend.

    Delays of several hours mostly by TAM’s planes have transformed the main Brazilian airports in Rio, São Paulo and Brasí­lia into purgatory anterooms.

    The company will be using a Boeing 737, two Boeings 707 and four Embraer ERJ 145 jets. TAM’s announcement came in the wake of a note from FAB informing that it was placing eight of its planes at the private airlines’ disposal in response to a order from president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

    According to the airline, the chartered aircraft will be flying the following routes: Tom Jobim International in Rio – Confins in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais – Salvador – Maceió (round trip using a Boeing 707); Tom Jobim – Brasí­lia – Tom Jobim and Tom Jobim – Guarulhos – Tom Jobim aboard another 707; round trip Tom Jobim – Brasí­lia with four ERJ 145s; and finally Brasí­lia – Confins, in the Boeing 737.

    Chaos returned to Brazil’s airports Thursday, with passengers occupying runways and aircraft to protest delayed and cancelled flights. The National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) said 44% of Thursday’s 1,227 scheduled flights were delayed by more than an hour and more than 40 flights were cancelled.

    ANAC blamed bad weather for the delays Thursday. President Lula, after holding an emergency meeting in Brasí­lia, said passengers need to be respected.

    For the past three months air traffic has been in chaos with controllers conducting a work slowdown following a midair crash in September. The situation was exacerbated by the December 5 failure of the communications system in the Brasí­lia control tower that halted traffic at three airports.

    Tempers flared Thursday in the capital Brasí­lia where a family protesting the delays stood on the runway in pouring rain. In the northeast provincial capital of Salvador dozens of passengers stormed an airplane, after waiting for hours at the gate. Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont airport started off the day with a power failure.

    The work slowdown by air traffic controllers followed a midair crash above the Amazon in September that led a Boeing 737 to go down, killing all 154 people on board. Afterward, controllers instituted a strict adherence to aviation regulations, such as observing flight limits and times between landings and takeoffs, to draw attention to their working conditions.

    The controllers charge that their workloads are too great, they are underpaid and have too few staff as investigators look into whether controllers’ actions played a part in Brazil’s worst airline disaster, in which a Gol Airlines passenger plane crashed after clipping a private executive jet.

    In early December, more than two months after the crash, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, the two American pilots of the US executive jet, who successfully made an emergency landing, received permission to leave Brazil. They are under suspicion of contributing to the crash of the Boeing.

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    • Show Comments (7)

    • andy murphy

      To JC

      Ch.C is not an American.He claimed that he was an European. I do not think he is an English speaking European. Maybe from Chechenya,Russia or Ukrania (sorry, I have hard time spelling the names of those places).I dont think he has ever been to Brazil.Regardless, I do agree with your views about his educational background!. Rick, it is your turn!!

    • andy murphy

      Rick,you are absolutely right about 707À‚´s,DC,s. I hope young Ch.C and stephen would listen to us!. These two yougsters make lot of sense too.Nice debating with them!!. I only hope that Ch.C will stop streotyping all the Brazilians as dishonest,cheats,etc;

    • Rick

      Uh, I think he said he was from Switzerland. I donÀ‚´t know what his interest in Brazil is, but we do have quite a few German Swiss around here. By that I mean Swiss who speak a form of German.

    • jc

      Nice try Murphy
      ha ha ha… I know you mean well Andy but the hatred inside this guy is congenital in nature, profoundly passionate and machiavelic dark… What is worse is that most Brazilians thinks that Ch.c is American and he uses it to his advantage. He has no formal education in Economics, Anthropology or Sociology nor does he have a Cause or a social agenda in behalf of the Brazilian peopleÀ¢€¦ So he uses people like you, Rich and many others as an instrument, and this site as an incubator for his ultimate goal. So, sorry Murphy but you are in a totally different class here, if you know what I meanÀ¢€¦ all the best!

    • Rick

      Old 707À‚´s are very fast, very dependable and very noisy.

    • ch.c.

      Yeahhhhh !!!!
      As I said many times, the center of the problem in the plane crash was/is neither the US pilots nor the ATCs but the state of the Brazilian Air Safety, namely the budget allowed to it !!!!!
      For years, TENS OF MILLIONS air passengers were not as safe as they should have been based upon the International Safety rules and laws, for which Brazilian Authorities always confirmed and guaranteed they abided to !
      – not enough of Air Security Towers…..created the blindspots….
      – not enough ATCs…..created the shortage and the stress…
      – lack of training……put an inept (within many) ATC at work (as per his own instructor) and ATCs not speaking good enough English the International recognized language…for pilots and ATCs.

      This is all due to THE BUDGET AUSTERITY THAT LULA HAS ORDERDED AND GENERALIZED……EXCEPT IN CORRUPTION PRACTICES CURIOUSLY….EMPTYING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUDGETS !!!!!!

      Yess the center of the problem is no one else but LULA and his administration not handling and managing the voted budget !

      Exactly the same thing happened at the end of 2005 with your FMD cattle disease.
      Originally the government accused Uurguay, then the Brazilian farmers and finally they took the blame. Because it has been proven that out of a 160 million Reais 2005 budget for sanitation….only 30 millions were freed….by October….at the time the FMD was discovered.

      Just look at the sequences of the plane crash and the FMD….it is 100 % the same practice…… by cheating, lying, hiding……!!!!

    • Stephen

      707
      Lets hope that 707 is airworthy? Remember Lula would not fly on it and so the goverment bought, him a new 59 mllion dollar Airbus, just for him ..Air Lula. . And the beat goes on!!

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