LATAM Argentina Ceases Operations

Filed Under: LATAM

LATAM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a few weeks ago. That’s simply a method for the company to reorganize, and the plan was for the airline to continue operating. Unfortunately that won’t be the case for at least one LATAM affiliate.

LATAM Argentina is ceasing operation

It has just been announced that LATAM Argentina will cease passenger and cargo operations for an “indefinite period of time” due to the current local industry conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the sustainability of the airline unviable.

Only LATAM Argentina will be ceasing operations, and not other LATAM affiliates, including in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, etc. These airlines will continue to offer service throughout South America and beyond.

LATAM CEO Roberto Alvo, had the following to say about this development:

“This is regrettable but inevitable news. Today, LATAM must focus on transforming the group to adapt to post-COVID-19 aviation. Argentina has always been a fundamental country for the group and will remain so, with LATAM’s other affiliates continuing to connect passengers from Argentina with Latin America and the world.”

What does this mean for LATAM Argentina’s routes?

LATAM Argentina operated a fleet of 15 aircraft, including 13 Airbus A320s and two Boeing 767-300s. What happens to the routes that these planes operated?

  • LATAM Argentina will cease flights to 12 domestic destinations, since international airlines can’t operate domestic flights within Argentina
  • International destinations in the United States, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, will continue to be served by other LATAM affiliates once COVID-19 related travel restrictions are lifted by authorities

For example, LATAM Argentina used to operate flights between Buenos Aires and Miami, which was the primary route for the 767-300. If I’m understanding this correctly, it sounds like another LATAM affiliate will take over the route (rather than just offering service from Buenos Aires to Miami via Lima or Santiago). That might be good news for consumers, ultimately, since we could see a 787 or A350 eventually operate the route.

Of course this assumes that demand for travel between Argentina and the US recovers anytime soon.

Bottom line

Unfortunately LATAM Argentina, which is one of LATAM’s smaller affiliates, will be ceasing operations. The airline operated a fleet of 15 aircraft, with the longest route being from Buenos Aires to Miami.

It sounds like the only real loss here will be the dozen domestic destinations served by the airline, while all international flights are expected to be served by other LATAM affiliates. However, I wouldn’t necessarily count on that happening anytime soon.

  1. @Lucky – Will LATAM take over LATAM Argentina’s fleet as well? Given that their single-aisle jets can be useful for transporting cargo within Latin America.

  2. I wonder why US airlines havent gone after this kind of multi-country branding strategy.

    IE: United Canada, Delta Mexico, Jetblue Colombia

    Theyre close…Copa shares the United brand, and Aeromexico is 49% Delta, but not the name like the LATAM and Avianca families.

  3. That’s a very unfortunate and saddening development that would have quite depressing outcome for people in Argentina. It’s been for many years that Aerolineas and LAN former and effective oligopoly with high fares and limited services (a fraction of a market of Chile for example). LAN has always been the reliable one between these two.
    Then a short period of domestic travel blossoming happened with Norwegian entering the market. Norwegian is gone now. LAN is gone. It’s someone is cracking a bottle of champagne at Aerolineas.
    It’s gonna be ugly.

  4. Oof. This may not be that big by itself, but I wonder whether it may portend more significant layoffs, closures, and downsizing during their restructuring. I feel bad for Delta. AA dodged a bullet on this one.

  5. Argentina is a nightmare! So crazy. I have family members there stuck in Argentina. The international airport has been closed since March and they say they aren’t opening up until September. Totally nuts.

  6. Thanks to left wing argentinian goverment trying to turn that great country in a place like Venezuela.

  7. Other LATAM subsidiaries could end up having the same fate. South America’s economies will not come out of this without much hurt and LATAM itself is not fully mature and depends on the strengths of Brasil and Chile. With the Brazilian part of the company out of restructuring, it might be possible that TAM goes back to being an all Brazilian company, speculation is that it will eventually merger with Azul (poor Azul).

  8. @Lucky — you’d probably know a lot more, but without the LATAM Argentina brand, wouldn’t these routes become 7th (?, or 8th?) freedom flights if operated by other LATAM brands? Could they?
    Or I guess they could fly routes like MIA-EZE-SCL as one flight so it effectively becomes a MIA-EZE flight plus one of the EZE-SCL frequencies?

  9. @Aaron I respect your lack of understanding and knowledge concerning geopolitics for other countries that are not the one you live in.

    You don’t know but argentinian govt. Is the owner of LATAM’s rival Aerolineas Argentinas. For years they allowed Only the state owned airline to fly from Buenos Aires downtown airport ( aeroparque) to other regional countries causing LATAM group, GOL etc to fly to a distant airport causing harm to other Airlines. Also if you pay close attention to what Argentinian govt. Has been doping you’d agree with me.

  10. @otavio

    You must be taking something which affects your perceptions of reality. Frankly you are talking rubbish. Alberto Fernández is president elect of Argentina and he didn’t force LATAM ARG to leave his country. Moreover it’s the COVID. And if you pay close attention you would know that LATAM ARG has earned millions during the government of Macri, due to all the subsidiaries etc. Your comments are so disrespectful toward Argentines (I’m half Argentine and half German). There are other countries and other presidents not only Trump and US. Que tengas lindo dia!

  11. Balltazar is more german than argentinian. Man your left wing side is so obvious that you can´t see. Of course the covid was the responsible for the colapse but before covid which LATAM brand was suffering more? Or did you forget that the only 767s of the group that weren´t gonna be upgraded was the LVs ones. But if you are “half argentinian” you know what I mean about the political situation in Argentina.

    COVID was the last insult. This you can´t deny. But not the only one. Open your eyes and look over your shoulders

    And now the last new is that LATAM and AZUL will merger.

  12. @otavio

    First of all, my name is Balthasar.

    And yes: very proud to be German and Argentine, very VERY proud of my German chancellor and my Argentine president.

    Whatever my political convictions are makes no difference to the matter why LATAM ARG left the country. We all know the reasons. LATAM ARG is free and very welcome to stay.

    And now: is Ms Merkel a leftist? Is Alberto Fernandez a leftist? Those are two sane democrats. But ruling a country that Macri has robbed over 4 years isn’t a simple task. You can pay a visit to Mr Macri soon in the prison.

    But this isn’t a topic here. Cheers.

  13. @Otávio you are absolutely right, as en exiled Venezuelan I feel sad for the many many Venezuelans that chose Argentina as their place to begin a new life, now many of them are totally scared as we Venezuelans know the process absolutely firsthand. They already begun with the currency control, that’s enough red flag for what’s to come, now add a Pandemic to the mixture.. Poor Argentina.

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