LATAM Airlines To Expand International Network3rd Oct 2014
South America's largest airline group continues to expand its network beyond its traditional borders within the continent.
The planned routes will highlight LATAM Airlines Group's global expansion in the coming years after the group's formation in 2012.
LATAM Airlines Group is a grouping of LAN Airline members and TAM Airlines of Brazil. Before the formation of the group, individual LAN Airlines have limited network beyond South America.
It will start off with the launch of a direct service between Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo, and the resort city of Cancun, Mexico, this year, probably by December. It will be the first direct air link between the two cities.
It will be followed by a mid-year (2015) launch of another route from Sao Paulo, this time to Toronto, Canada's largest metropolis with a stopover in New York.
Finally, as the year 2015 draws to a close, a once-daily service will be launched between Milan, Italy and Santiago de Chile with a stopover in Sao Paulo.
Also in the expansion program is the addition of flight frequency between the LATAM Group's main hub, Santiago de Chile, and Miami, Florida in the USA within next year.
Beside the route expansion plans, the group is also expanding its fleet with the acquisition of more aircraft starting this year. In particular, the group will grow its fleet of B787, aka Dreamliner, touted as the world's most fuel-efficient jetliner to date.
The group will continue to utilize extensively its fleet of B767, a wide-body long-range aircraft which has been its mainstay.
TAM Airlines, the largest member in the group in terms of fleet size and market share, is scheduled to take delivery of its first A350 aircraft towards the end of next year.
According to Catalina Nannig Otonel, LATAM Airlines Group's European commercial director, they hope that through these new routes they will be able to meet the travel needs of their customers between the three continents.
She cited in particular the increasing demand for its European routes which cater mostly to business travelers, prompting them to enhance connectivity between the two continents.
The new direct service between Cancun and Sao Paulo, she claimed, will mostly cater to leisure travelers who want to spend their short weekend break to Mexico's world famous resort destination.