Chile’s LATAM Airlines files for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

LATAM Airlines are the largest air transport services company in Latin America. (File/AFP)
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Updated 26 May 2020

Chile’s LATAM Airlines files for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

  • The company is the largest airline in Latin America
  • LATAM said they have about $1.3 billion in cash on hand

LATAM Airlines Group SA said on Tuesday the company and its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and US have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, due to a slump in travel worldwide amid the coronavirus crisis.
Latin America’s largest airline said it secured funding from shareholders, including two of its largest the Cueto and Amaro families, and Qatar Airways, to provide up to $900 million in debtor-in-possession financing.
The company said it had about $1.3 billion in cash on hand.
“We have implemented a series of difficult measures to mitigate the impact of this unprecedented industry disruption, but ultimately this path represents the best option,” Chief Executive Officer Roberto Alvo said.
LATAM Airlines Group listed assets and liabilities in the range of $10 billion and $50 billion, according to a filing with the US Bankruptcy Court in Southern District of New York.
The airlines and its affiliates will continue to fly with no impact on passenger or cargo operations and reservations, the company said.
The company said its affiliates in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay were not included in the Chapter 11 filing.
LATAM Airlines’ Brazilian affiliates are in discussions with the Brazilian government about the next steps and financial support for operations in the country.


UAE aviation authorities consider return of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Updated 02 July 2020

UAE aviation authorities consider return of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

  • Dubai budget carrier flydubai is the second biggest customer of the Boeing aircraft

DUBAI: UAE aviation officials are considering the return of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into the country’s airspace months after the narrow-body jet was grounded after being involved in two fatal crashes.

“The GCAA is closely working with the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, Boeing and UAE Operators on B737 Max return to service since its grounding after two tragic accidents,” Saif Mohammad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said in a statement.

“We are in regular discussions with the FAA and Boeing on all aspects of the certification including design, test flights and training for the flight crew.”

Dubai budget carrier flydubai is the second biggest customer of the Boeing aircraft, and its fleet of 11 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and two Boeing 737 Max 9 were grounded when the GCAA banned them from flying on March 12, 2019.

The US Federal Aviation Administration earlier finished recertification test flights on the 737 MAX, and evaluated Boeing’s proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the aircraft that was implicated in the two fatal crash flights.

“The GCAA is keeping a close coordination with other major regulators around the world to share information and benefit from their experience. The UAE approval process for the return of B737Max to service is dependent on the certification activities going on at the moment between the FAA and the Boeing,” Al-Suwaidi said.

“The GCAA is committed to ensuring highest standards of safety in the UAE skies and will work towards return to service of B737Max until acceptable safety standards are achieved.”