LATAM Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest air carrier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today - the largest airline to do so in COVID-19 pandemic.

It also filed Chapter 11 for its affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia & Ecuador. The Chapter 11 petition allows LATAM to keep operating while the Chilean carrier works out a plan to pay their creditors and turn around the business.

LATAM’s affiliates in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina aren’t part of the bankruptcy case.

The Santiago-based LATAM was previously serving more than 70 million passengers a year, on more than 300 aircraft. They also were carrying more than $7 billion of debt.

“Exceptional circumstances have led to a collapse in global demand and has not only brought aviation to a virtual standstill, but it has also changed the industry for the foreseeable future.”

LATAM Chief Executive Officer Roberto Alvo said in a statement.

Talks are underway with governments in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Peru about additional financing and assistance, the airline said. Click here for an infographic that explains the Ch11 process moving forward.

Avianca, the largest air carrier in Colombia, also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in May.

News Source: Bloomberg

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