Latam aims to exit Chapter 11 by end of year

South American carrier Latam Airlines Group expects to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the year.

The airline made the move in the US in May 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.

The group obtained approval of a reorganisation plan by the US Bankruptcy Court and secured its exit financing in the last quarter.

Announcing second quarter losses of $523 million, chief executive Roberto Alvo said: “We have closed a second quarter with significant progress in our reorganisation process under Chapter 11 and we hope to emerge from it during the last quarter of this year.

“Although the group has made advances in its operational recovery, we continue to remain cautiously optimistic about the coming months, closely monitoring fuel prices and macroeconomic variables, as the industry still finds itself in the midst of a very dynamic environment.”

The airline operated 73% of its pre-pandemic capacity in its second quarter, largely helped by domestic travel in Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador in addition to the recovery in international operations.

However, the period was marked by a “sharp increase” in fuel prices.

Total operating revenues reached $2.2 billion, 6.1% less than the equivalent three months in pre-pandemic 2019, but an increase of 150% year-on-year.

Total operating expenses rose by 3.5% compared to the same quarter of 2019, driven by a 31.5% increase in fuel costs.

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