LATAM Airlines saw passenger traffic rise on declining capacity in May, but cargo load factor remained flat for the month.
Cargo traffic increased 1.5 percent, year over year, but capacity also ticked up 1.5 percent. The carrier’s cargo load factor stayed stagnant at 58.2 percent. So far this year, LATAM cargo traffic has increased 2.3 percent, but capacity gains of 4 percent have wiped away any positive growth trends. For the first five months, cargo load factor is down by 1 point.
Officials attribute the swell in cargo traffic to seasonal demand, and the increase in capacity to increased passenger belly capacity. Some of this capacity was offset by freighter operation reductions.
Last month, the carrier reported first-quarter operating income of $114.2 million, a 149.8-percent, year-over-year increase. Total revenues inched up 1.5 percent due, primarily to increases on the passenger side of the business. Cargo revenues declined 3.2 percent year over year. At the time, officials said there was “weak market demand in the cargo business.” - Jon Ross