Freight LATAM announces cargo fleet expansion

LATAM Group has presented a growth strategy for its cargo subsidiary for the upcoming years.

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In March this year, LATAM Group announced plans to convert eight Boeing 767-300ER aircraft into freighter to meet the growing demand for air freight. These conversions would take place over the course of the next three years.

Now, the Group announced that two additional aircraft have been added to these conversion plans. By 2023, LATAM Cargo seeks to operate with a fleet of up to 21 Boeing 767-300ER Freighter. Furthermore, the average fleet age will have dropped from 17 to 14 years by then, making operations more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The addition of the two 767 Freighters will be part of the deal with aircraft manufacturer Boeing, with which LATAM signed a firm purchase deal for the eight initial aircraft conversions. This means, that no third-party specialist will convert the aircraft, but Boeing will deliver new aircraft to LATAM.

Andrés Bianchi, LATAM Cargo CEO, commented: "The decision to expand our fleet is based on the attractive growth opportunities available, recent efficiency improvements and flexibility that the Boeing 767F freighter offers. Thanks to these elements we believe we will grow profitably, even if facing conditions similar to those that we faced before the pandemic. This expansion will allow LATAM’s cargo subsidiaries to continue responding to our customers’ needs and supporting the region’s economic growth through increased and improved connectivity."

With these new additional aircraft, LATAM will expand their operations throughout the world. Especially, from and within South Africa, the capacity will be increased significantly. When the aircraft have been delivered, LATAM Cargo seeks to become the largest cargo freighter company in the region.

Kamal Hadad, LATAM Cargo's Network and Alliances Director, confirmed: "In general terms, the majority of the plan focuses on improving connectivity between North and South America. In particular, capacity from Colombia and Ecuador will be strengthened to support the flower export industry. Additional flights to support Chilean salmon exports as well as import traffic into the country will also be reinforced. Capacity to and from Brazil will also go up as we add routes from North America and Europe, boosting both the export and import markets.”

Especially in prospect of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for air cargo has been growing. This is a huge chance for airlines to enter the cargo market and for freight companies to expand within the air cargo industry.

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