By Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
LATAM Colombia Surpasses 2019 Passenger Numbers
LATAM Colombia pushed ahead in its quest for a full recovery this summer, as the airline beat the number of passengers it transported during the third quarter 2019, with a total of 1,742,988 passengers moved between the 15 destinations and 25 routes handled by the airline in Colombia from July 1-Sept. 30.
With these results, the Colombian market remains one of the key countries for the LATAM Airlines Group, with a trend that has continued in recent months.
According to a press release, destinations such as Medellín and Santa Marta, Colombia, have been the ones with the greatest recovery.
In the case of Medellín, the flights to and from Santa Marta stands out. On the route, the airline transported 288% and 262% of pre-pandemic passengers on the inbound and outbound, respectively.
Routes such as Cartagena, Colombia, to Cali, Colombia and Bogotá to Pereira, Colombia, saw traffic of 139% and 132% of the passengers transported in the same period of 2019.
Other routes that performed better than those achieved during the third pre-pandemic quarter were Barranquilla to Medellín at 128%, Cali to Cartagena at 125% and Bogotá to Pereira at 121%.
The new routes inaugurated during the first half of 2021 — which seek to decentralize the operations from Bogotá — came from Cali, with flights added to Barranquilla, Medellín and Santa Marta that moved a total of more than 118,000 passengers during the quarter. New flights added from Medellín include those to Bucaramanga, Cúcuta and Montería, which transported more than 55,000 passengers during the same period.
During the first half of the year, LATAM Colombia inaugurated a total of six domestic routes and strengthened its network of destinations by increasing the frequency of routes operated from Cali and Medellín in order to decentralize its operations from Bogotá.
In addition, the Bogotá to Pasto route has maintained positive results since its launch and the Bogotá to Armenia route has moved more than 24,000 passengers since its inauguration in June.
LATAM Colombia will grow its total capacity, measured by number of seats, by 30% for the next six months with the opening of seven new domestic routes and the strengthening of its current domestic network, which will have a total of 34 routes in operation by January 2022.
According to a press release, in December, LATAM Airlines Group’s Colombian subsidiary will reach 135% of its 2019 capacity.
The reactivation of the Bogotá to Yopal route is scheduled for October, which will have four weekly flights. In December, the Colombian carrier will begin seven weekly operations on the Cali to Pasto route and three on the Cali to Montería route.
From Medellín, the new routes will operate to Pereira with seven weekly flights and to Leticia with five weekly operations. Likewise, the carrier will start a direct route from Pereira to Cartagena with seven weekly flights. Finally, in January 2022, LATAM Colombia will return to Neiva from Bogotá with seven flights a week.