LATAM Airlines Group and its subsidiaries announced today a reduction in international flights of approximately 30% due to lower demand and government travel restrictions in reaction to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). For the time being, the measure will apply principally to flights from South America to Europe and the US between April 1 and May 30, 2020.
“Faced with this complex and extraordinarily dynamic scenario, LATAM is taking immediate and responsible measures to safeguard the group’s long-term sustainability, while seeking to secure passengers’ travel plans and protect the jobs of the group’s 43,000 coworkers. At the same time, we will maintain the flexibility to take additional measures, if necessary, due to the speed at which events are unfolding,” said Roberto Alvo, Chief Commercial Officer and CEO-elect of LATAM Airlines Group. The executive added that, given the current context, the company has decided to suspend its guidance for 2020.
LATAM will continue to uphold its strict safety and hygiene protocols to protect the well-being of its passengers, crew and ground personnel. The group has also implemented special cleaning procedures for its aircraft, which have state-of-the-art circulation systems with HEPA filters that renew the air inside the cabin every three minutes.
Other measures include the suspension of new investments, expenses and hiring as well as incentives for unpaid leave and to bring forward vacations.
To date, demand in LATAM’s domestic markets has not been affected and the group has decided not to implement changes to national flight itineraries for the time being.