The CEO of LATAM Airlines Group is to stand down from his position, after 25 years in the role. Enrique Cueto Plaza will see his long tenure at the company end on 31st March next year, having first become the CEO of the company in 1995.
LATAM has already announced that the group’s current Chief Commercial Officer, Roberto Alvo Milosawlewitsch, will replace Plaza. Milosawlewitsch joined LATAM in 2001 and has also served as a Senior Vice President of the company.
The Chilean airline has recently enjoyed a period of stability, as the airline industry in Latin America becomes increasingly competitive. Nonetheless, despite this context, LATAM has been able to enter into several strategic agreements that have seen it consolidate its position, and create the largest airline group in the region.
Ignacio Cueto, President of LATAM Airlines Group, told the Aviation Tribune that the announcement had been made ahead of time in order to ensure the stability of the company going forward.
“We’ve made this announcement at a time of solidity and stability for the company. Today, we offer unrivaled connectivity in the region and with the world. We are one of the world’s most punctual airlines, we offer a service that is recognized by millions of our customers and we have considerably strengthened our financial position,” Cueto commented.
LATAM confirmed that it had considered external candidates for the CEO position, but had concluded that Milosawlewitsch was the best fit for the position. A planned succession process had begun as early as last year, with the aim of ensuring a smooth transition following the exit of the experienced Plaza.
Commenting on the suitability of Milosawlewitsch, Cueto indicated that the successor to Plaza possesses huge experience of both the company and the airline industry. “We are confident that with Roberto’s leadership and extensive knowledge we will reach new heights, maintaining the preference of over 70 million passengers that fly with us each year and helping us to become one of the world’s most admired airlines,” Cueto asserted.
Cueto also thanked Plaza for his 25 years of impeccable service, while emphasizing that the decision to promote his successor has been unanimous at board level.
LATAM recently announced that it had overhauled the cabins in all of its Boeing 777 aircraft, as the carrier continues to upgrade its operation. LATAM intends to spend $500 million on renovating aircraft cabins in order to enhance the passenger experience.
And the carrier has also tweaked its portfolio of routes over the last few months, adding a non-stop Sydney to Santiago flight, while ending its joint venture with American Airlines. LATAM was ranked 49th in the SKYTRAX ‘World’s Top 100 Airlines 2019’, making it the highest-rated airline in Latin America.