LATAM Cuts Int’l Flights by 30%

LATAM Airlines Group and its subsidiaries have announced a plan to cut international flights by approximately 30 percent due to lower demand and government travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. For the time being, the measure will apply principally to flights from South America to Europe and the United States between April 1 and May 30, 2020, the airline group said.

LATAM said that, to date, demand in its domestic markets has not been affected, and the group has decided not to implement changes to national flight itineraries for the time being. 

In addition to cutting international flights, the airline group said that it will continue strict safety and hygiene protocols, including special cleaning procedures for its aircraft. Other measures include the suspension of new investments, expenses and hiring as well as incentives for unpaid leave and to bring forward vacations.

The move represents the latest capacity reduction in South America due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, American Airlines and Delta both announced cuts of their own

Overall, American said that it is cutting capacity in its summer schedule by 10 percent versus its previous schedule. In South America specifically, the airline said that its flights to Montevideo, Uruguay, from Miami will be downgraded to a seasonal service, with flights ending in May and resuming in December. 

Additionally, American’s flights to Santiago, Chile, from Dallas – Fort Worth will be suspended through April.

Delta also announced that it will cut capacity worldwide and in Latin America. The airline will reduce its overall system capacity by 15 points versus what it had planned, with international capacity reduced 20 – 25 percent. In Latin America specifically, the airline’s capacity will be down 7 percent. Additional capacity adjustments are possible as the situation evolves, the airline noted. 

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