LATAM Airlines Group has drastically reduced the size of its fleet in the last year. According to ch-aviation, the airline currently has 286 aircraft, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of demand, and the many travel restrictions in South America. Let’s take a look at LATAM’s fleet in 2021.
The narrowbody fleet
At the end of 2019, LATAM had 320 passenger aircraft. The South American giant had just carried 74 million passengers and was looking towards a very good 2020. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. As a result, LATAM had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 26, 2020.
Since then, LATAM has been reducing the size of its fleet. Like other carriers worldwide, it has simplified its fleet and rejected the leasing contracts of its older aircraft.
According to ch-aviation, this is LATAM’s current narrowbody fleet:
- A319-100: 45 units
- A320-200: 117 units
- A320-200N: 12 units
- A321-200: 43 units.
LATAM still has to receive 13 A320-200, two A320-200N, and two A321-200NX.
If we compare this current fleet with the one LATAM had as of December 31, 2019, we can see the airline has rejected 28 planes. The airline has gotten rid of one A319-100, 20 A320-200, one A320neo, and six A321-200.
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The widebody fleet
Due to the heavy impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on long-haul travel, LATAM has heavily adjusted its widebody fleet.
Despite the A350 announcement, both the airline and ch-aviation still account for the aircraft family in its fleet. This is how LATAM’s widebody fleet currently looks like:
- A350-900: nine units
- B767-300ER: 28 units
- B777-300ER: ten units
- B787-8: ten units
- B787-9: 12 units.
If we compare this with LATAM’s 2019 fourth-quarter results, we see some changes. For instance, LATAM has rejected the leasing contracts of three 767s and four Boeing 787-9s. Plus, there’s the A350 debacle, which we will talk about later.
What can we expect going forward?
LATAM will continue to adjust its passenger aircraft fleet going forward. In the narrowbody segment, we expect the airline to reject more A319-100 and A320-200 leasing contracts. LATAM will receive newer, more efficient A320neo planes in the future, so, most likely, it will only substitute one with the other.
The widebody fleet will suffer more changes, though. First of all, LATAM is set to get rid of the A350 fleet. There’s no turning back on that decision; the airline management wants to simplify the long-haul fleet under one OEM, Boeing.
Besides that, LATAM will also adjust its B767-300ER fleet. Currently, it has 28, but the airline will reduce it by ten in the next two years. LATAM and Boeing have signed an agreement to convert ten units into freighters and boost LATAM’s cargo capabilities.
Finally, LATAM still has to receive two more widebody planes, both 787 Dreamliners.
Have you traveled with LATAM? How was the experience? Let us know in the comments.