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.
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.