Ignacio Vallejo, president of the board of directors at TAME EP, will take part in Airlines Live! at Routes Americas 2018. He has 39 years' experience in the aviation sector, predominantly with Spanish carrier Iberia.
How was 2017 for TAME?
I started up to work in TAME EP in September 2017. As a first step we started a restructuring process that gave positive results immediately. We launched a contingency plan called TAME DESPEGA, which aims to stabilise the operation, renew the company, improve the operations and expand the market.
It was possible to maintain 90 percent of punctuality in the flights and was reached the 99 percent in the compliance of the operations. The number of flights increased with an average of 50 trips per day. The number of seats sold increased by 63 percent.
What have been your best performing routes?
They're all good. The frequencies were increased to the Baltra airport, in Galapagos and one, on Thursdays, to Santa Rosa, in the province of El Oro. Likewise, flights to El Coca and Lago Agrio take place in an airplane with a capacity for 96 passengers, as well on Thursdays. We keep the routes without competition that are also unique destinations of TAME EP (Esmeraldas, Loja, Lago Agrio, Salinas and Santa Rosa).
How will Open Skies impact the Ecuadorian market?
For TAME EP Open Skies is good news because, having excluded cabotage, that is, internal flights within the continental territory, it will allow the company to start up its entire operation to satisfy the demand for internal flights that, with the arrival of foreign operators and consequent increase in air traffic, of course will be extremely necessary.
Thus, for example, tourists arriving from Germany will be able to travel on TAME EP planes to Cuenca, Loja or Esmeraldas, thus achieving that passengers arrive at their final destination within the country thus providing a true travel experience. It will allow transporting many more passengers in internal connectivity and maintain the codeshare system with the new airlines that may arrive in Ecuador.
Another valuable aspect is to have excluded the Galapagos Islands from politics, not only because it is a precautionary action on the part of the state to preserve the heritage of humanity, but also to encourage the operation of the national airline as a fundamental axis of connectivity between the Galapagos Islands, the territorial and insular Ecuador.
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
In business management we have set a goal of $200m for this year. Operationally, since June 2018, TAME EP will have an optimal operating fleet, for which the five company-owned aircraft will be sold (2 E-190 and 3 ATR-42). A new leasing of five aircraft will be made. The A-320 fleet will be recovered, which will boost the operation to the Galapagos Islands.