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LATAM has already hired 250 people during the resumption and outlines plans for the air sector in the second half | | Photo © Herbert Monfre - Airplane photographer - Events - Advertising - Essays - Hire the photographer by e-mail cmsherbert@hotmail.com | Image produced by Herbert Pictures - MORE THAN FLY

As vaccination against the pandemic advances in Brazil, the resumption of demand for air travel has also been growing. In June, for example, the average occupancy rate of LATAM domestic flights in Brazil was around 80% after two months of sharp decline in this indicator due to the second wave of the virus. In July, it grew to 82% and the expectation is that by the end of 2021 it will be around 85%.


With the closing of international borders for Brazilian flights, domestic tourism gained even more strength, with the Northeast being the champion of sales for leisure travel, as explained by Diogo Elias, Sales and Marketing director at LATAM. “Salvador, Maceió and Natal are today the most sought after destinations by our customers. In the last month, we saw a 70% increase in demand for these flights, causing us to increase the supply of seats to these cities by 50%”, he says.


For the few international destinations that Brazil can fly, Cancun was undoubtedly the most sought after. “We launched the direct flight twice a week in June. In July, we had to increase it to three, as we had maximum capacity in the first month, with an average occupancy of over 95%. I have no doubt that as soon as the restrictions on the international drop, we will have a good recovery, especially for the United States. When it happens, we'll be ready for it,” says Diogo.


It was by observing this demand and the advance of vaccination that LATAM began to bet on the improvement of the sector still for 2021 and began a process of gradual but optimistic resumption, in line with this more positive scenario and with its objective of "getting out of this crisis more strong from what we have entered”, as stated by Jerome Cadier, CEO of LATAM Brasil.


Check out the main moves made by the company in this regard:


1. Air network – Resumption of 75% of the supply of seats in the Brazilian domestic market in July compared to the same period in 2019, increasing from 310 to 418 daily flights, and 20% of international flights from Brazil, with the return of two destinations abroad: Paris and Bogotá. By the end of the year, it is expected to operate with 100% of the seat supply in Brazil compared to the pre-pandemic period. As soon as the restrictions on international flights are removed, the company intends to return with its 26 destinations abroad – being the only company to offer this international capillarity in Brazil.


2. Aircraft fleet – LATAM currently operates in Brazil with 110 aircraft, equivalent to 74% of the company's current fleet in the country. The expectation is to close 2021 with 85% of the total (with 127 aircraft flying daily), when the expected resumption of almost 100% of the pre-pandemic seat supply. Currently, LATAM has 149 aircraft in the Brazilian fleet with an average of 10 years of use.


3. People – LATAM will be the only airline in Brazil that is hiring 750 crew members for its operations this year – We publish here. So far, around 250 have joined, all of which were reinstated after the big cut that the company had to make in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Also, at its Maintenance Center in São Carlos (SP) 80 professionals have already been hired and, by the end of this year, another 100 temporary hirings are expected, especially to meet the resumption of the Retrofit Project (modernization of the interior of the aircraft cabins ).


4. Cargo – LATAM's cargo unit announced, in May this year, the expansion from 11 to 21 aircraft in the cargo fleet of Boeing 767 aircraft by 2023 – We publish here. In July alone, the forecast for the entire group was 1,030 flights in cargo aircraft, which represents 20% more than in the same month of 2019. LATAM Cargo has a mixed fleet of aircraft for its operations, using both the the hold of aircraft intended for passenger flights as well as dedicated freighters.


Investments: three major initiatives are highlighted here, in line with the movement to retake the airline industry:


A. Retrofit – By September 2022, the cabins of 30 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft from LATAM Brasil's fleet will be remodeled, in addition to another 44 aircraft of the same model belonging to the fleets of other LATAM Group affiliates. This process, called retrofit, is the largest investment in the Group's history – around US$ 400 million – with half of this amount earmarked especially for the operation of LATAM Brasil.


B. Technological Innovation – The project is in its second phase, with the launch of an exclusive feature, the LATAM Wallet, and a new and unique experience for the LATAM Pass, the company's loyalty program. The new digital experience, launched in February, focused its first phase on four pillars: New purchase flow on the website; It has a profile with all customer information in one place; Personalized notifications; and Automatic Check-in.


C. Sustainability – In May, the LATAM Group made commitments to sustainability in four major areas: environmental management, climate change, circular economy and shared value.

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