Three days before completing 10 years of entry into service by All Nippon Airways, the Boeing 787 finally debuted with a Brazilian airline.
LATAM Brasil carried out a commercial flight with the widebody jet on Saturday, connecting Sao Paulo to Manaus, preparing for the start of international flights with the aircraft, scheduled for the second half of December.
The PS-LAA registration plane actually belonged to the LATAM Chile fleet and was passed on as a replacement for the Airbus A350-900, which the Brazilian arm took out of service at the beginning of the year.
LATAM Brasil will receive four other aircraft from the Chilean division, all of which are 787-9 models, an intermediate version of the family.
“LATAM has the largest fleet of wide-body aircraft in all of Latin America, made up exclusively of Boeing aircraft, which is why it is one of our most strategic partners in the region and in the industry,” said Landon Loomis, general director of Boeing Brazil.
No Brazilian customers
Commercial aircraft that set new performance standards in air travel, the Boeing 787 performed its first flight in December 2009 and debuted in service on October 26, 2011.
Thanks to a structure with a high use of composite materials, more efficient engines and advanced technologies, the Dreamliner provided savings of up to 25% in fuel use as well as being 50% quieter than older jets.
Despite such an attractive proposition, the 787 had not attracted any Brazilian customers so far. Something that is quite unusual since almost all Boeing models were used by companies in the country at some point.
The only known episode involving the Dreamliner would have been the airline Azul, which in 2014 would have studied the plane as well as Airbus’ A330 and A350 jets. As is well known, David Neeleman’s company initially ordered the A350 and later opted for the A330neo.
Avianca Brasil, which went bankrupt in 2019, was another company that even announced an order for the A350, but it was never completed.
Gol is perhaps the most natural candidate to one day fly the Boeing 787 due to the preference for the US planemaker. But the airline is focused on using only the 737 for the sake of standardization.
Perhaps if TAM hadn’t closed an agreement with Airbus for the A350 before the merger with LAN, the story would have been different and the Dreamliner would have been able to fly with a Brazilian registration for a longer time.