In the last few weeks, LATAM and Avianca have announced new agreements to increase the number of seats they can offer in the region. They’re doing it by adding more aircraft or refurbishing their current planes. Let’s analyze LATAM and Avianca’s strategies to increase capacity.
LATAM’s new order
Last week, LATAM and Airbus announced an agreement for the purchase of 28 new aircraft. Due to the fact that LATAM is currently in Chapter 11, it has to receive authorization from the Court in the United States.
The acquisition of 28 Airbus A320neo family airplanes, in addition to the 42 previously agreed upon, “reaffirms the LATAM Airlines Group’s fleet as the largest in Latin America,” the airline said in a statement.
It also consolidates the map route of the company and puts in motion LATAM’s plan to reinforce its sustainable growth across Latin America.
Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group, said,
“The purchase of these highly efficient aircraft is a sign of the commitment we have made with the transformation towards a carbon-neutral LATAM in 2050.”
Avianca and Airbus services new deal
Avianca has not announced any new order for aircraft. Instead, the carrier has been downsizing its fleet, and it is expected to retire its entire ATR fleet.
Nevertheless, Avianca and Airbus Services recently announced a deal to refurbish its A320 fleet. This is Avianca’s strategy to increase capacity.
Airbus published a statement on the subject, and said,
“Avianca has selected Airbus Services to do a complete reconfiguration of the cabins in its A320 family fleet. By choosing the SpaceFlex next generation from Airbus, Avianca is preparing itself for the future, when they recover its pre-pandemic traffic.”
SpaceFlex next generation is a mature lavatory and galley AFT complex. It enables airlines to optimize the available space in the rear of the cabin while increasing seat capacity.
Avianca’s selection includes three lavatories. One of them has full access for ‘Persons with Reduced Mobility’. The new configuration also includes new Recaro seats. This option enables the use of personal devices on-board.
Currently, Avianca operates over 100 Airbus aircraft, including ten A320neo and two A321neo.
LATAM MRO work going forward
Besides its order with Airbus, LATAM Airlines Group has another strategy to increase its capacity. We’ve discussed previously while talking about LATAM’s fleet plan.
Between July and September 2022, LATAM is retrofitting the cabin of 30 LATAM Brazil Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft and 44 additional planes from other LATAM branches.
LATAM mechanics are disassembling the whole cabin. Then, they are substituting all the seats, bathrooms, and galleys. The crews are installing a new in-seat power to provide electricity to each seat. Additionally, they’re putting a new direct view system that monitors the passenger cabin during landings and departures.
Alexandre Peronti, Maintenance director for LATAM Brazil said: “Relaunching the retrofit project at LATAM’s MRO is a clear indication that we are trying to compete more aggressively in the Brazilian market, with a more modern and efficient product for our clients.”
Daniel Martínez Garbuno is a Mexican journalist. He has specialized in the air industry working mainly for A21, a Mexican media outlet focused entirely on the aviation world. He has also published on other sites like Simple Flying, Roads & Kingdoms, Proceso, El Economista, Buzos de la Noticia, Contenido, and Notimex.