SkyWorks Leasing is auctioning 17 former LATAM Airlines Group airplanes after the South American carrier rejected its leases last year due to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in the US. The auction will take place on April 14, said the lessor.
Which aircraft are on auction?
LATAM Airlines Group is currently under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. As part of this reorganization, the airline has rejected several leasing contracts, reducing its fleet size. LATAM expects to shrink even further in 2021. The carrier said,
“Given the filing for voluntary reorganization and restructuring of their debt under Chapter 11 protection in the United States, LATAM is currently evaluating the adequate fleet needs for the following years.”
At the end of 2019, LATAM had a total fleet of 354 aircraft, including subleases. By the end of 2020, the airline had reduced this to 300 planes.
Now, SkyWorks Leasing is auctioning two Airbus A350-900s, four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and 11 A321-200s, as reported by FlightGlobal.
The six widebodies are off-lease, while the eleven narrowbodies are committed to long-term leases, beginning in 2021’s second quarter, said the lessor.
These are the former registrations of the six widebody aircraft:
- The Airbus A350-900: PR-XTA and PR-XTB
- Boeing 787-9: CC-BGE, CC-BGF, CC-BGG, and CC-BGH
What’s the importance of the two A350-900?
The two A350-900 were built in 2015 and 2016. Both aircraft are currently parked at Victorville, California. They both have Trent XWB-84 engines. Their cabin configuration was of 30 business and 309 economy seats and were listed last year on MyAirTrade.
PR-XTA was the first A350 to ever fly in South America. LATAM wrote on its nose “Primeriro A350 WXB das Américas”.
Meanwhile, PR-XTB had its last flight eight months ago, according to RadarBox.com. It flew from Sao Paulo to Victorville.
And, what about the Dreamliners? The four Dreamliners operated with LAN Chile. All of them are five years old. They were ferried from Santiago de Chile to Victorville between July and August 2020.
What about the narrowbodies?
As stated by SkyWorks, the eleven narrowbodies are still under a long-term lease. The local media outlet, Aviacionline, stated that the Bankruptcy Court in the US still has to decide the future of these aircraft.
In July last year, LATAM announced it planned to reject the leasing contracts of 19 aircraft. All these planes were narrowbodies, A319-100 and A320-200.
Nevertheless, since the announcement was made, LATAM still has to actually offload the 19 planes.
Between 2020’s third and fourth quarter, LATAM eliminated two A319-100, three A320-200, one A320neo, and 11 B767-300.
A brief update on LATAM
In 2020, LATAM Airlines Group posted a net loss of US$4.54 billion due to the impact of COVID-19. Passenger revenues decreased 70%, while cargo revenues surge 13.7%.
The airline lost 61.9% of its traffic compared to the previous year. It carried 28.29 million passengers in 2020 versus 74.18 million in 2019.
Unfortunately, 2021’s first quarter hasn’t been much better for the airline. LATAM is operating at one-third of the capacity it had in 2019.
In March, LATAM is operating approximately 675 daily flights to 115 destinations in 16 countries but can’t fly to many countries, like Portugal, due to travel restrictions.
What do you think of LATAM’s fleet reduction? Let us know in the comments.