LATAM Moves Closer To Pre-Pandemic Capacity Deployment

Credit: Rob Finlayson

LATAM Airlines Group is projecting domestic capacity in the Spanish-speaking countries it serves—Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru—will reach 81% of its pre-pandemic capacity in October.

In Colombia, LATAM’s domestic capacity will exceed the supply the company placed into the market in October 2019.

In Brazil’s domestic market, LATAM is projecting its capacity will reach 99% of its pre-crisis levels. LATAM Airlines Brazil has grown the number of domestic airports it serves in the country to 54, compared with 44 before the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline group’s international capacity in October should reach 70% of the capacity it deployed during the same time period in 2019. The company said it is restarting five routes in October, including Sao Paulo-Boston; Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aires; Quito-Miami, Lima-Mendoza, Argentina; and Santiago-Puerto Natales, Chile.

LATAM plans to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 3 under a reorganization plan that will “allow the group to emerge more agile, with a more competitive cost structure, adequate liquidity to face the future, with approximately $10.3 billion in equity, and close to $6.9 billion in debt,” the company said Oct. 14.

The pandemic forced LATAM Airlines Group to seek bankruptcy protection in May 2020. Two other large Latin airlines, Aeromexico and Avianca, also entered Chapter 11 in 2020. Those operators completed their respective restructuring processes.

The company has also reached a deal with Air Lease Corporation to add five Airbus A321XLRs to its fleet. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2025 and continue through 2026.

Lori Ranson

Lori covers North American and Latin airlines for Aviation Week and is also a Senior Analyst for CAPA - Centre for Aviation.