LATAM Airlines says passenger traffic up 1.6 pct in March

viernes 11 de abril de 2014 09:36 GYT

SANTIAGO, April 11 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines Group SA , Latin America's largest carrier, said on Friday that total passenger traffic rose 1.6 percent in March year over year.

The company was formed in 2012 from the tie-up of Chile's flagship LAN and Brazilian airline TAM.

In March, Brazilian domestic passenger traffic increased 6.5 percent, while non-Brazil domestic passenger traffic rose 5.4 percent, the carrier said in a statement.

The company has been cutting capacity in Brazil to boost efficiency and shore up margins. With the reductions, its planes have been flying closer to full capacity.

Load factor, a measure of how full planes are, rose 4.3 points to 81.7 percent in its overall passenger operations. In Brazil, load factor increased 5.1 percentage points to 78.8 percent.

LATAM Airlines has domestic operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

International passenger traffic declined 2.2 percent in March, while cargo traffic dropped 6.6 percent.

(Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)