LATAM doubles losses and cargo keeps struggling

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LATAM Airlines Group LAN Chile Boeing 787-8

LATAM Airlines Group has doubled its losses to $219.2 million in 2015, and its cargo division has continued to struggle.

Losses increased by 99.7 per cent from $109.8 million in 2014 to $219.2 billion in 2015. In the same time, total revenue fell by 18.8 per cent to $10.1 billion and cargo saw a 22.4 per cent drop to $1.3 billion.

LATAM Airlines Group, which consists of LAN and TAM, chief executive officer, Enrique Cueto admits the Latin America region as a whole has struggled but he is staying positive. He says: “Despite the slowdown in GDP [gross domestic produce] growth in the region and the depreciation of all local currencies, LATAM was able to improve our operating result by one percentage point compared to 2014, as a result of our focus on cost discipline and network enhancement.”

In 2015, cargo revenue tonne kilometres fell by 12 per cent to 3.8 billion while capacity in available tonne kilometres was down by 1.9 per cent to 7.1 billion. In 2015, the load factor declined by 6.2 percentage points to 53.6 per cent. LATAM says cargo was hit by weakness in Brazil, as well as customs personnel going on strike at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport, and depreciation of the euro and Brazilian real.

LATAM will be upgrading its fleet in 2016, including cutting its freighters. It has three Boeing 777-200 Freighter and eight Boeing 767-300 Freighters. One 767-300F will be retired in 2016 followed by another in 2017, and they will be joined by a 777-200F in 2017. LATAM will retire its Airbus A330-200s in 2016 and take delivery of six Airbus A350-900s and five Boeing 787-9s. By 2018 its widebody fleet will consist of 34 767-300s, 13 A350-900s, seven Boeing 777-300ERs, 10 Boeing 787-8s and 18 787-9s.