LATAM Airlines Group will cut a third of its international flights due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. This measure will apply from 1st April to 30 May. Let’s investigate further.
Which operations are affected?
Note: this article tries to be as accurate as possible, but the information is changing by the minute so, some of the measures put below may not apply in the next few days or even hours.
These new measures will apply mainly to flights to Europe and the United States. Previously, LATAM had already canceled its flight between Sao Paulo and Milan. As well, the airline scrapped its route between Buenos Aires and Miami. We contacted the airline for exact information regarding which routes will also be suspended or reduced. At the time of publication, we had no response. We’ll keep you updated if that changes.
Also, LATAM Airlines Group has recently increased its flexibility to help its customers in their travel decisions.
Yanina Manassa, Director of Customer Service, said,
“We understand that customers may be uncertain about making international travel plans at this time. That’s why we want to provide them with the opportunity to book international flights, knowing that they can change their reservation at a later date if they wish.”
How does it affect travelers?
For LATAM’s clients flying out of Colombia, this is what you have to keep in mind:
Clients flying from, to, or via Spain, Italy, France, and China between 6 March and 30 April can reschedule their flight and destination without a fee until 31 December 2020.
Additionally, Colombian authorities said that people arriving in Colombia from China, Italy, France, and Spain must be in quarantine for 14 days. Everyone must also have medical insurance or be affiliated with the local health care system, as reported by El Espectador.
Also, all foreign people arriving in Colombia must fill in a medical form. If he or she refuses to do this and doesn’t have medical insurance, entrance will be denied.
For LATAM’s clients flying out of Argentina:
First of all, the government just announced that it will stop issuing visas. This will affect people from the US, Europe’s Schengen zone, China, Japan, and South Korea.
Travelers flying from and to Italy, Spain, France, Germany, the US, Iran, Japan, China, and South Korea between 6 March and April 30 can reschedule their flight and destination without a fee until 31 December 2020.
Also, because of the suspension of the route between Buenos Aires and Miami between 12 and 16 March, clients can change their flight day to anytime in the next two weeks, without a fee, or change the route altogether, without a fee.
Earlier this week we discussed how LATAM Argentina is facing the fourth year of potential losses. The coronavirus crisis could be a catalyst for this happening, sadly.
For LATAM’s clients flying out of Peru:
Clients flying to and from Spain, Italy, France, and China between 6 March and April 30 can reschedule their flight and destination without a fee until 31 December 2020.
Has coronavirus finally affected Latin America’s connectivity?
LATAM also suspended its guidance for 2020 due to the uncertainty. This drove stocks of the airline to fall nearly 10% today.
Roberto Alvo, chief commercial officer, and chief executive-elect said,
“Faced with this complex and extraordinarily dynamic scenario, LATAM is taking immediate and responsible measures to safeguard the group’s long-term sustainability, while seeking to secure passengers’ travel plans and protect the jobs of the group’s 43,000 co-workers.”
Other airlines, such as Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca, Azul, and Aeroméxico have taken measures due to the pandemic. I think the region is just starting to feel the impact.
Although, as of now, international organizations such as IATA and ALTA have not posted the possible economic hits that Latin American airlines will have, it is very likely that these numbers and predictions will be available soon. The airlines are already taking precautions, like the calling they made for slot allocation flexibility, among other things.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.