LATAM Airlines to immediately retire Airbus A350 fleet

Photo: © Colin Cooke Photo

On Thursday, LATAM Airlines Brasil CEO Jerome Cadier confirmed the immediate retirement of all Airbus A350 aircraft from the LATAM Airlines fleet.

The Brazilian airline currently has eleven aircraft of the type in its fleet and already retired two more at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis in 2020. Seven aircraft will exit the fleet over the course of the day, with the remaining four aircraft leaving in the following days, according to a letter to employees.

In the letter, CEO Jerome Cadier states the need to restructure the Brazilian wide body fleet of the group. He confirms a focus on the Boeing 767, 777 and 787 widebodies at the multi-national airline. This reduces the overall required widebody type ratings from four to potentially only two, if the 777 and 787 are to be staffed by the same pilot group.

LATAM Airlines Brasil was originally known as TAM Airlines before it merged with Chile’s LAN Airlines to form one of the biggest airline groups in the world. Together, they operate more than 300 aircraft with several subsidiaries in several other Latin American countries. The LATAM Group entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020 due to strong negative business effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.