The Government of Ecuador has resolved to liquidate loss-making flag carrier TAME Ecuador (EQ, Quito Int'l), although the airline will retain its key services where it has no competition, President Lenín Moreno said.

The decision was announced as a part of a massive post-COVID austerity programme, which entails cutting USD4 billion in public spending. Seven other publicly-owned companies are set to be fully eliminated, including the national postal operator (Correos del Ecuador) and the state railway operator (Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos).

Moreno said in a televised address that TAME Ecuador has accumulated losses of around USD400 million over the last five years. However, he underlined that it will continue to provide services on all routes where no private alternative exists. He did not specify any further details.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, TAME is one of three airlines in Ecuador operating scheduled flights, besides LATAM Airlines Ecuador (XL, Quito Int'l) and Avianca Airlines Ecuador (2K, Quito Int'l). The flag carrier is the sole airline operating the following routes: from Quito Int'l to Esmeraldas, Lago Agrio, and Loja, from Guayaquil to Loja, and from Cali to Esmeraldas. TAME's fleet includes one A319-100, one A320-200s, and three ATR42-500s. Its TAME Amazonía (Quito Int'l) subsidiary operates three Quest Kodiaks on scheduled flights to remote parts of the country.