LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, announced on Friday the dismissal of 1,400 workers from its subsidiaries in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, due to the serious consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unfortunately, we concluded that we have no other option but to start shrinking the group. That means, among other things, letting go of some of the people who work with us,” said the company’s chief executive, Roberto. Alvo, in an internal video.
LATAM, like the entire world aeronautical sector, was hit by the closing of the borders and the fall in the demands for passages due to the restrictive measures adopted by the States to protect their countries from the advance of the coronavirus. Many asked their governments for help and others, like the Colombian Avianca, declared bankruptcy.
“We don’t know how long (the crisis) is going to last and we don’t know how many years or how long the industry will take to recover,” he added.
The company, with Brazilian and Chilean capital, maintains 95% of its suspended flights and only carries out humanitarian operations and some to maintain connectivity in the South American country of more than 4,000 kilometers long.
The company has some 40,000 workers in the region and in mid-April they cut wages by 50% between April and June.
Considering its traffic and coverage, LATAM is the largest airline in the region, with 109 aircraft.
Alvo took over as LATAM chief executive in early April and during a press interview said they would need government support, which angered authorities, who rejected the request.
However, shortly afterwards the Minister of Finance, Ignacio Briones, declared that support for large companies is being studied, although he warned that it will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, and that “it is not a help to the owners, but to the company so that the workers have their catch (job). ”
The day after Briones’ statements, the company’s shares on the stock market fell 44%, the biggest one-share decline in 17 years.
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