Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Latam CEO Sees Two More Recovery Years For Latin American Airlines

3 months ago

Latin America’s airlines likely face two more years to return to “total normality,” Roberto Alvo, the CEO of the region’s largest carrier, Latam Airlines, warned Sunday.

“The pressures that the industry has to bear … has not yet fully recovered and that means the industry has not yet left this major crisis behind,” he said at the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires. Those pressures include a strong U.S. dollar, high fuel costs, and the continued lack of any state financial support from the region’s governments.

With that in mind, plus the financial toll many Latin American airlines suffered during the pandemic, Alvo expects “total normality” for the industry by the end of 2024.

latam airlines a320
(Alexandro Dias/Flickr)

Alvo’s comments come on the eve of the annual general meeting of the regional airline trade association, ALTA. The CEOs of many of Latin America’s major airlines, including Aeromexico, Avianca, Azul, and Gol, are expected to share their views on the recovery and outlook at the event. Alvo is president of the ALTA executive committee.

Normality, however, does not mean travelers won’t return sooner. In fact, Alvo forecast a full recovery in terms of airline passenger traffic by the end of next year. That is a little later than the outlook for his airline; Latam expects a full traffic recovery by around the middle of 2023.

“We are at a period of strong recovery of [the] industry,” Alvo said. Air travel in some countries, including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, is already above pre-pandemic levels, with others in the region rapidly catching up.

In August, data from global airline trade group IATA show Latin American passenger traffic had recovered to nearly 90 percent of 2019 levels. That made Latin America the most recovered air travel market — in terms of passenger traffic — in the world, even ahead of North America that was at 89 percent of pre-pandemic traffic.

Tags: latam

Airlines

South America’s Largest Airline Latam Cleared to Exit Bankruptcy

7 months ago

South America’s largest airline, Latam Airlines Group, can exit its U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring after a judge approved its reorganization plan Saturday.

The Chile-based carrier will exit its restructuring leaner than when it went in after shedding its Argentine subsidiary, but with $8 billion in new capital including $5.4 billion in new financing from shareholders Delta Air Lines, Qatar Airways, and the Cueto family, as well as its major creditors. Delta, Qatar Airways, and the Cuetos will also maintain equity stakes in Latam.

latam airlines a320
(Alexandro Dias/Flickr)

“This is a very important step in the process to emerge from Chapter 11, and we will continue working hard to complete the remaining steps in the coming months,” Latam CEO Roberto Alvo said in a statement on June 19.

Latam is the last of the big three Latin American airline bankruptcies to come to a close following Avianca’s exit in December, and Aeromexico in March. Latam plans to exit Chapter 11 in the second half of the year.

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