Latin America's largest airline files for bankruptcy

The LATAM Airlines group, Latin America's largest carrier, has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, making it the largest airline to date to file for bankruptcy. The airline seeks for an emergency reorganization due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia & Ecuador but does not include its affiliates in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

LATAM is also the second major Latin American airline that filed for bankruptcy after the world's second oldest airline and the second largest in the region, Avianca, has filed for the same.

In a report from Reuters, LATAM posted profits for the last four consecutive years totaling more than $700 million (567.7 million pounds). LATAM had also approved a dividend payment this year, in contrast to other carriers that have halted payouts.

The chapter 11 proceedings allow LATAM to continue operations as the airline undergoes restructuring to pay-off its debt.

LATAM is a major brand for South Americans, dominating international air travel in the region, as well as a leading domestic flight operator in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. 

The airlines was founded in 2012 through a merger between Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM, spawning a carrier with large aircraft order books and major exposure to Latin America’s top economy as it went through its worst recession on record.

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