Jerome Cadier, CEO of LATAM Brasil, gave an interview to the Valor Econômico outlet, in which he admitted that the regional aviation market is attractive, but that an expansion project is not in the airline’s plans at the moment.
“With the pandemic, all growth plans were reviewed. Today I would tell you that we can grow a lot, the number of cities served by LATAM, without thinking about a new fleet,” said the executive.
Cadier said that the company’s current domestic fleet, consisting of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, is capable of serving an additional 15 to 20 cities, in addition to the 55 currently in operation.
“To operate beyond 70 cities, then I need to have a smaller aircraft fleet or a partner,” he explained. About the possible partner, Cadier hinted that he would be a foreigner since in his statement the supposed group should have an interest in Brazil.
For the CEO of LATAM, the regional market in the country suffers from a lack of competition because it only has flights from rival Azul. “You only have one competitor basically operating smaller routes, by the way charging very high prices because there is no competition on those routes,” he said.
Embraer always considered
Jerome Cadier was also asked about a possible interest in Embraer aircraft as well as the Airbus A220, that recently passed through Brazil on tour.
Despite reaffirming that LATAM intends to maintain the option for Airbus on short and medium-haul routes, the chief executive acknowledged that Embraer is always taken into account when analyzing possible orders.
In the international market, the company’s strategy is to keep only the Boeing 777 and 787 on passenger flights in the future. The Boeing 767 is expected to gradually leave long-haul routes while the aircraft are converted to cargo.