Romanian national flag carrier TAROM has been given two years by The United States Department of Transport to launch flights to the U.S.A. The Washington, D.C. based government agency has granted TAROM a two-year renewal extension on its Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP).
TAROM filed for an extension of their Foreign Air Carrier Permit on October 16th of this year and received a go-ahead on November 14th. The new dates given by the American agency now mean that TAROM has until the 14th of November 2021 to launch flights from Bucharest to the United States.
TAROM has applied for three slots in the U.S.A.
According to CH-Aviation sources inside the Otopeni based airline say that TAROM has already applied for slots at both JFK and Newark, serving New York City, as well as Chicago O’Hare. TAROM has also indicated that it would like to dry-lease two Airbus A330s and start flights to the U.S.A. commencing as early as May 2020.
Slightly contradicting CH-Aviation’s portrayal of what aircraft will be used, fellow aviation website Aeronautics Online suggests that the aircraft could be wet-leased from Hi Fly. The Portuguese leasing firm has just taken delivery of its first Airbus A330-900neo.
Sources again quoted by Aeronautics Online say that New York’s JFK will be the first route, with TAROM flying to the “Big Apple” from Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP) four or five times a week.
This route makes sense as TAROM used to fly non-stop flights between the Romanian capital and JFK using its now-retired fleet of Airbus A310-300s. Before the arrival of Airbus aircraft, TAROM used a Russian built Ilyushin Il-62 on the route.
Taron stopped flying to America in 2003
These flights stopped in 2003 after TAROM signed a codeshare agreement with Air France and KLM, offering a one-stop service between Bucharest and New York.
As things stand at the moment, there are no non-stop flights between the United States and Romania. This is a surprise when you consider Bucharest has nearly two million inhabitants and Romania, as a whole, has 20 million.
Times have changed since the SkyTeam member stopped direct flights to the United States from Bucharest. With no American carriers offering direct flights, a new route might just work.
Back in the 1980s, TAROM flights to New York were popular due to their price compared to Western and Middle Eastern carriers. Many people on a budget would often make Bucharest a stopover when flying from places like Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq to New York.
TAROM is still state-owned
Surprisingly, TAROM is still a state-owned airline, which is probably why it is still in business today. Recently the airline has been in the news with its general manager being fired over a political scandal.
TAROM has not made a profit for 11 consecutive years and seems to go through general managers one after another. This leads me to believe that despite wanting to resume flights to the U.S.A. in 2020, it probably will not happen.
What do you think? Please let us know in the comments.