LATAM is increasing its flights to Europe as the airline wants to be ready when restrictions will be lifted. That’s according to Thibaud Morand, General Manager Europe for LATAM, South America’s largest carrier.
South America’s air transport giant serves five major markets: Brazil (Sao Paulo), Chili, Colombia, Equator and Peru. 2020 was a difficult year as it put a stop to LATAM expansion. “We had to suspend and reduce our operations in Europe. We used to fly to Spain, Portugal, the UK, France and Germany. With the lifting of restrictions for vaccinated travellers, we resume our frequencies to France, Germany and Spain,” explains Thibaud Morand. “France is the latest addition to LATAM Europe’s network. From July, flights resume to Paris, with a route to Sao Paulo and Santiago. I expect that we could offer from this winter a daily frequency to Pairs, Frankfurt and Lisbon -once we resumed the latter. We plan to fly twice daily to Madrid from Santiago and Lima.”
“We know that we take a financial risk of expanding in Europe as European travellers are still not allowed to come to South America. But we have to be ready once the recovery will be in full swing”, adds Mr Morand.
Globally, LATAM’s passenger operation for June 2021 is estimated to reach 36% (measured in available seats-kilometres – ASK) relative to the same month in 2019, in a pre-pandemic context. The forecast operation is higher than that of last May (30.8%, measured in ASK), as all markets show higher projections than those of the previous month , largely attributed to the progress of the vaccination rollout in the countries where LATAM operates and the resulting increase in demand.