LATAM Airlines Group has announced that it will be extending its existing 95% capacity reduction plans until June as it battles against the coronavirus. Like many, the airline has suffered immensely both operationally and subsequently financially. The new announcement demonstrates the extent at which the coronavirus has hit airlines.
South America's largest airline, LATAM Airlines Group, has said it will maintain its 95% reduction in capacity until the end of May. This comes during a 'historical drop in demand' due to COVID-19.
LATAM Airlines Group CEO, Roberto Alvo said: "A month and a half since various industry players signaled the greatest crisis the sector has ever faced, today we can see that its effects are deeper and will be longer lasting than we initially anticipated."
LATAM says that its domestic network will remain limited for the month of May, maintaining 'minimum connectivity levels' for LATAM Airlines Brazil and LATAM Airlines Chile. However, LATAM Airlines Group as a whole said they would 'evaluate resuming flights' depending on travel restrictions and of course demand.
Alvo continued: "Faced with this adversity, it is inevitable that the group and its affiliates need to rethink their sizes and how they operate."
LATAM will operate a total of two international routes, both to Miami. Essentially, this means the carrier will only be maintaining passenger services to North America. LATAM Airlines Group will operate a six weekly connection between Santiago and Miami, while LATAM Airlines Brazil will offer a thrice weekly flight from São Paulo to Miami.
As with most airlines, LATAM said its cargo subsidiaries continue to grow. Cargo capacity between South America and Europe was up 40%. Miami alone saw an increase of 15% in capacity from South America. LATAM noted that, like many airlines, passenger aircraft were being used to transport cargo. Furthermore, LATAM said that passenger planes would soon be deployed on flights to China to collect medical supplies.