The newly purchased Boeing 737-800 of Romania’s flag carrier TAROM, named Sarmizegetusa, was officialy presented on Wednesday, flying over Henri Coanda International Airport.
Sarmizegetusa is the first out of the 30 scheduled in the governance program, with 189 seats and 6,000 km autonomy, PM Sorin Grindeanu stated, attending the event.
“For us, TAROM is a national pride company and our ambition is not only TAROM to financially recover, but to become a reference company in the region,” social-democrat leader Liviu Dragnea also said.
Head of PSD joked with the US Ambassador to Bucharest Hans Klemm at the event, telling him that Romania wants two F16 as bonus. “It’s a happy day for me, for TAROM, for Boeing. I thank the President, Prime Minister, Transport Minister for their strong support for a future partnership between Boeing and TAROM. It is the power symbol of the economic dimension of the strategic partnership. Congratulations to all involved. And, yes, we do hope to sell as much as F16 to Romania,” U.S. diplomat said.
Two weeks ago, the Minister of Transport signed a contract to acquire two Boeing 737-800 New Generation aircraft for the TAROM fleet.
Romania’s flag carrier will use two new Boeing planes through a dry-lease contract that runs for 10 years, thus replacing two older planes that were removed from TAROM fleet last year. By year-end, Ministry of Transport will buy two more airships in operational leasing.
TAROM’s Sarmizegetusa costs nearly USD 100 million and it’s the first time in the last decade when the passengers of Romania’s flag carrier embark on a new plane.
Now, TAROM fleet counts 21 planes, out of which 19 operate in the same time due to maintenance operations. On this occasion, TAROM will resume flights to China and the United States.
In turn, Transport Minister, Razvan Cuc pointed out that the privatisation of TAROM and Bucharest Airports National Company (CNAB) will no longer be taken into account in this mandate.
TAROM lost last year the second position in the ranking of the Romanian airlines, being overtaken by Blue Air. The market leader in terms of number of carried passengers is Wizz Air. TAROM registered just 1 percent increase in passenger numbers in 2016 to 2.41 million.