Flying Down to Rio with British United

A blast from the past when British United flew between the UK and Brazil.

British United took over BOAC’s South American routes to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on 5 November 1964. Those routes, flying VC10s via Madrid, Lisbon, Las Palmas or Freetown, became profitable for United by late-1968. In November 1970, the airline was sold and merged into Caledonian to form British Caledonian that continued to fly to South America, replacing the VC10s with Boeing 707s in 1972, which allowed for a non-stop service between London Gatwick and Rio.

British Airways took over the routes from British Caledonian in 1985.

Brazil’s best restaurants

Olympe - Rio de Janeiro
Olympe – Rio de Janeiro

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants programme announced its list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America at a ceremony in Lima on 4 September 2013. D.O.M. was named as The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Brazil as well as being ranked number 2 on the inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

São Paulo-based D.O.M. is headed up by chef Alex Atala, who is widely considered to be ‘the face of Brazilian cuisine’ and one of the world’s most influential chefs. At D.O.M. Atala has built a reputation for combining the most authentic Brazilian flavours with a contemporary approach.

At the awards event in Lima, Helena Rizzo, executive chef at fellow São Paulo restaurant Mani, which is ranked at number 5 on the list, received the Veuve Clicquot Latin America’s Best Female Chef Award. At Mani, Rizzo works with predominantly traditional Brazilian ingredients delicately treated with the latest techniques of international cuisine.

Brazilian restaurant Remanso do Bosque in Belém was given The Latin America’s One to Watch Award, sponsored by BBVA. Remanso do Bosque’s chefs Thiago and Felipe Castanho take inspiration from the proximity of the nearby forest, combining regional dishes with Amazonian flavours

In São Paulo the 50 best restaurants in Latin America included:

  • D.O.M.
  • Mani
  • Mocotó
  • Fasano
  • Attimo
  • Epice

While in Rio de Janeiro the 50 best restaurants in Latin America included:

  • Roberta Sudrbrak
  • Olympe

Claudia Sender appointed CEO of TAM Airlines

Claudia Sender - TAM

Claudia Sender, previously vice-president of the Brazil Domestic Business Unit of TAM Airlines, has been appointed the company’s CEO. Sender, 38, joined TAM Airlines as the Commercial and Marketing Vice-President on 15 December 2011 and, after the merger with LAN, became head of the Brazil Domestic Business Unit, with her responsibilities expanded to include the entire customer service structure. Prior to joining TAM, Sender was Marketing Vice-President at Whirlpool Latin America, where she worked for seven years, and a consultant at Bain & Company, where she worked on projects for large companies in various industries, including TAM and other carriers in the global airline industry.

Sender has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo (USP), and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.

TAM unveils new First Class cabin and Sao Paulo lounge

TAM First Class 2012 01

TAM Airlines new Boeing 777s are the first to feature a new interior design and cabin developed exclusively for the airline by the British company, Priestmangoode.

The new First Class cabin presents the idea of a living room. The environment is personalised, providing more privacy and interaction with the new sleeper seat, entertainment system, and lighting. There is also a couch, individual closets, lamp, dining table, cushions, a Nespresso service, and a library with books, editions of Wallpaper guidebooks as well as general interest magazines.

TAM First Class 2012 02

TAM Airlines has also inaugurated its third VIP lounge in São Paulo’s International Airport (Guarulhos). The new space is located in Terminal 2.

Covering 540 square meters and with capacity of 174 seats, the room is decorated with furniture, materials, textures and colours that evoke the comforts of a house in a concept called “From Home to Home”. It also offers Wi-Fi, snacks, beverages, two TV lounges, a business centre, shower room, and a family area with computers for children.



“World Cup: The Guide” launched by Critical Divide

To mark the two year countdown to the start of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil on 12 June 2014, Critical Divide has announced the launch of the site World Cup: The Guide (, which will complement the company’s existing web site, Brazil the Guide (

World Cup: The Guide will offer useful advice and tips for fans (and the teams) making plans to travel to Brazil to see the World Cup in 2014 or the Confederations Cup in 2013.

Critical Divide has also announced that it has another series of sites in development which will include Berlin the Guide (; Cannes the Guide (; Oscars the Guide ( , and the already announced, Rio the Guide (

A taste of Brazil in London

The exciting and talented young Brazilian chef, Bel Coelho, has made a quick visit to London, along with one of Brazil’s leading sommeliers, Arthur Azevedo.

Bel and Arthur were in the UK to showcase the onboard catering of TAM Airlines. Bel is responsible for having developed over 800 different options and combinations of dishes to be served across the airline’s international services during 2012. To Arthur falls the responsibility of selecting the wines to compliment the new menus.

Bel Coelho, Sue Faithfull (TAM Airlines UK), Arthur Azevedo.

Bel is considered one the most exciting chefs of her generation in Brazil. Since cooking at home as a little girl, and then later working with major names from the global gastronomic scene, she has developed a special care for the ingredients she uses and for the visual presentation of the dishes. All of which has helped make her restaurant, Dui, one of São Paulo and South America’s very best and most sought after.

Bel says her menus offer passengers meals that are a well-balanced combination of functional, whole and organic ingredients, which are prepared to give nutrient-rich dishes with a feeling of lightness, well-being and satisfaction.

To match some of Bel’s more sophisticated dishes, Arthur has looked to source top-quality wines from different countries, focusing mainly on the most important wine making regions of Europe. The highlights include in First Class the white, Dr. Bürklin-Wolff Pechstein Grand Cru from Pfalz in Germany, and amongst the reds, La Croix Figeac (St. Émilion/Bordeaux/ France). For Business Class the selection includes the white wine Dr. Bürklin-Wolff Wachennheimer Altenburg Premier Cru and the red, Jean-Luc Thunevin Château Bel-Air-Ouÿ (St. Émilion/Bordeaux/France). Economy Class passengers have not been overlooked and the selection for long-haul flights includes two modern and affordable South American wines. The Callia Alta Malbec and the Callia Alta Chardonnay from San Juan in Argentina.

Executive Class selection

Arthur’s selection of wines has been picking up international awards for both him and TAM. Most recently Arthur and TAM won two of the top categories in Business Traveller’s prestigious “Cellars in the Sky” awards. The Brazilian airline received the award for best red wine served in First Class (Clos Canon 2008), and as the airline with the most improved First Class wine cellar.