LATAM Airlines' passenger traffic falls 1.4 pct in July

viernes 8 de agosto de 2014 17:01 GYT

SANTIAGO Aug 8 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines Group SA , Latin America's largest carrier, said on Friday that total passenger traffic decreased 1.4 percent in July year-on-year, while its overall load factor rose 1.6 percentage points to 84.7 percent.

The company, formed in 2012 from the tie-up of Chilean flagship LAN and Brazilian airline TAM, has been cutting capacity in Brazil to boost efficiency and shore up margins. The moves have allowed its planes to fly closer to full capacity.

Load factor, a measure of how full planes are, decreased 0.7 points to 83.8 in Brazil and increased 2.2 points to 80.9 percent at the airline's other operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Brazilian domestic passenger traffic fell 7.8 percent, while domestic passenger traffic in the Spanish-speaking nations rose 5.0 percent, the carrier said in a statement.

International passenger traffic rose 1.3 percent in July, while cargo traffic slipped 0.4 percent.

The "cargo traffic decrease was driven by weaker imports into Latin America," the airline said. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; editing by Gunna Dickson)