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TAROM is a third smaller than in S19; has just 10% of Romanian market; all 28 routes are from Bucharest

TAROM

For a flag carrier, Romania’s TAROM is a particularly small one. According to Planespotters.net, it has just 18 aircraft, although only 12 are active when writing. It has six ATR 72s, four A318s, four 737-700s and four 737-800s.

Examining Cirium schedules information shows that TAROM has an average of just 101 seats per departure in S24, against 164 for all short-haul airlines serving Europe. However, the Romanian carrier’s average will rise in 2025, when MAX 8s replace its lower-capacity A318s and 737-700s – but not its -800s.

Two-thirds of TAROM’s seats are international

Analysing Cirium data shows that TAROM has about 1.57 million available seats in S24. It is about a third smaller than it was in the pre-pandemic S19 and, even more curiously, 6% smaller than in S23.

It has about a tenth of the Romanian market, down by more than half in the past 10 years. In this period, the country’s seats have nearly doubled – to the detriment of TAROM. Not surprisingly, its decline is massively because of cuts to the increasingly competitive international market.

While the airline deploys twice as many seats internationally than domestically, the difference between the two has reduced considerably. It is amid enormous competition from Wizz Air and Ryanair, Romania’s two largest airlines, and TAROM right-sizing to attempt to achieve sustainable financial performance. However, shrinking rarely works.

TAROM capacity S14-S24

29 airports are served, but 13 airports have been removed since S19

TAROM serves 29 airports in S24: eight in Romania and 21 internationally. Comparing its network to S19 shows that Constanta and Sibiu have been removed.

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It is its international portfolio that has seen considerable change, with 11 airports – Alicante, Brussels, Hamburg, Larnaca, Munich, Odesa, Stockholm ARN, Tbilisi, Valencia, Vienna and Yerevan – no longer part of its network.

28 scheduled routes – all from Bucharest

Heraklion will join its scheduled route map on 5 June 2024, with a weekly service from Bucharest. Indeed, all of TAROM’s scheduled routes in S24 are from Bucharest. Until recently, it had a small international network from other Romanian cities.

Thirteen of its 21 international services have head-to-head competition, including eight with Wizz Air, rising if indirect competition is included. Domestically, it is against HiSky on two of its seven domestic routes.

Using Cirium to examine TAROM’s top 10 routes shows that four are domestic, with Bucharest-Cluj-Napoca the most served. TAROM serves the 310-kilometre market with 21-weekly flights in April – two-thirds on the ATR 72 – against an 11-weekly HiSky A320 service.

Bucharest-Amsterdam is TAROM’s leading international market, partly because of its KLM codeshare agreement. It operates 14-weekly, supplementing 20-weekly flights by KLM. When all airlines are considered, Schiphol is Bucharest’s fourth most-served international market.

Top 10 TAROM routes S24

Geneva Airport Spring 2024