LATAM Airlines, the largest carrier in Latin America, posted higher-than-expected third-quarter profits last Wednesday, in line with recovering regional markets. The airline says that, between July and September, it brought in a net income of $161 million, up $5 million from the same time last year and the highest quarterly profit in its history. Quarterly revenue was $244 million, while total revenue was posted at $2.645 billion for the year, and operating margin increased to 9.2%
In addition, LATAM Cargo, LATAM’s cargo partner, saw fright revenues rise by 2.5% to $272.2 million, the carrier’s first cargo revenue increase in four years. The rise in revenue was driven by a 3.5% increase in cargo traffic. LATAM Cargo is, like the passenger airline, the largest cargo carrier in the region.
“Imports from North America and Europe to Brazil, continue to show improvement year-over-year, driven by major imports of electronics and spare parts, as a result of a more stable market conditions in the country as well as the appreciation of the Brazilian Real,” said a LATAM spokesperson. “Also, imports to Chile and Argentina started to recover during the quarter, as well as export markets from Peru, namely asparagus.”
LATAM isn’t stopping where it is. Last week, it announced plans to serve four new international destinations including Boston, Rome, Lisbon, and Tel Aviv. All of the flights will fly out of LATAM’s São Paulo/Guarulhos hub in Brazil.
“The start of the direct route to São Paulo not only continues to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening the network between the US and South America, but reinforces our position as the leading carrier within the region,” said Pablo Chiozza, LATAM’s Senior VP of North America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
“Connecting New England with the global economy is a key part of Massport’s mission. Offering nonstop service to Brazil, one of the world’s largest economies, has been a target of ours for some time,” said Thomas Flynn, CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority.
Boston will be the sixth US city that LATAM serves from South America. Though the route is still subject to regulatory approval, LATAM hopes to begin service to Boston by the summer of 2018.
LATAM Brazil will start service to Rome on March 16, 2018. LATAM will fly the route three times a week until July 2018, when frequencies will increase to five weekly flights. The airline will fly a Boeing 767 on the route with 191 Economy seats and 30 seats in Premium Business. Rome will become LATAM’s second Italian destination after Milan. Tickets for flights to Rome are on sale on LATAM’s sales channels. The flight schedule is below for the March-July flights
JJ8180 Dprt São Paulo/Guarulhos 15:55 (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday) → Arr Rome 7:55 (+1 day)
JJ8181 Dprt Rome 10:00 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday) → Arr São Paulo/Guarulhos 18:35 (same day)
LATAM plans to serve Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel, from Santiago in the winter of 2018. The flights will have a stop in São Paulo, providing access to passengers across the Americas, and will be served three times per week. This service is awaiting regulatory approval.
LATAM is based in Santiago. It was formed in 2012 by the merger of Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM.
Featured image by Oliver Holzbauer via Flickr