LATAM Airlines Group Struggles To Restore International Network 

Even as domestic market prospects brighten, international flying is still a challenge for LATAM. 

LATAM Airlines Group, the largest airline company in South America, is projecting strong domestic market traffic in October. 

Restoring international flying continues to be a challenge for LATAM, however. The Santiago, Chile-based company said passenger capacity across its network will reach 56% of its pre-COVID-19 pandemic capacity operated in October 2019. That’s up from 49.9% of pre-pandemic system capacity operated in September. 

Much of the improvement this month will be achieved by the increased flying LATAM affiliates are conducting in domestic markets. For example, LATAM’s domestic capacity in Colombia and Ecuador will exceed pre-pandemic levels, reaching 105% and 100% of October 2019 capacity respectively. But the LATAM Colombia operation will only fly 44% of pre-pandemic international capacity in October, while the Ecuador affiliate will fly just 12% of its pre-pandemic international capacity in October. 

The picture is similar in other countries in which LATAM operates. In Brazil, it will operate 82% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity, but just 25% of October 2019 international capacity. In Chile, LATAM will operate 90% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity, but only 39% of October 2019 international capacity. In Peru, the split is 82% of pre-pandemic domestic capacity and 43% of international capacity versus October 2019. 

All told, LATAM plans to operate approximately 970 flights daily (domestic and international) during October, connecting 122 destinations in 18 countries.  

LATAM will restore a number of routes between Brazil and Europe between October and December. 

Photo credit: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images