Chilean-Brazilian airline LATAM Airlines announced Friday that its 95 percent reduction in passenger operations. previously announced in April, will extend into May due to the coronavirus crisis, saying the pandemic would have a deeper impact than first expected.
Health restrictions adopted in most of the countries where the company flies and a subsequent drop in demand for tickets led LATAM, Latin America's largest airline, to reduce its operations hugely and even cancel all its international flights until April 30.
"A month and a half after several industry players warned of the biggest crisis the sector has suffered, today we can see that the impacts are deeper and will be more lasting than we initially anticipated," said LATAM Airlines Group CEO Roberto Alvo in a statement released by the airline on Friday.
Alvo explained that LATAM "will have to resize their respective sizes and the way they operate," so they will keep the decrease in their flights for another month.
During May, LATAM's domestic operations in Chile and Brazil will continue to be reduced in order to maintain minimum connectivity. On international routes, the airline expects to operate six weekly frequencies between Santiago and Miami, and three frequencies between São Paulo and Miami.
LATAM will resume its flights "to the extent that operating permits exist and demand justifies it.
The airline, which arose from the merger of Chile's LAN and Brazil's TAM, flies to 145 destinations in 26 countries, with a direct presence in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. It has more than 42,000 employees and operates approximately 1,400 daily flights, transporting more than 74 million passengers annually.