On May 18, 2021, LATAM Airlines Group announced it would expand its cargo aircraft fleet by adding 10 Boeing 767 converted freighters by 2023. The first four Boeing 767-300ER freighters would arrive between 2021 and 2022.
In a statement, LATAM reported that the airline’s freighter fleet expansion plan initially included four firm conversion orders with Boeing and another four conversion options. After the initial announcement, LATAM is said to “have exercised four options, eight planes, and the conversion of two additional Boeing 767-300ERs”.
According to the air carrier, with four Boeing 767Fs arriving by 2022 plus six 767Fs coming by 2023, the airline’s cargo fleet would consist of up to 21 Boeing 767-300ER freighters.
“The decision to expand our fleet is based on the attractive growth opportunities available, recent efficiency improvements and flexibility that the Boeing 767F freighter offers. Thanks to these elements we believe we will grow profitably, even if facing conditions similar to those that we faced before the pandemic,” said Andrés Bianchi, CEO of LATAM Cargo.
Boeing 767-300ER is a suitable freighter for medium-size requirements. The aircraft has more than 15,469 cubic feet (438 cubic meters) of cargo volume available and the capabilities to carry approximately 58 tons of revenue payload. It has a range of 3,255 nautical miles (6,025 kilometers).
LATAM Airlines Group said the addition of Boeing 767-300ER freighters would enable other group’s cargo subsidiaries to expand and reinforce their “capacity to, from and within South America, and positioning the Group as the main freighter operator group in the region”.
Currently, LATAM Airlines Group has a total of 293 aircraft in its fleet, planespotters.net data shows. The largest part of the group’s fleet consists of the Airbus A320 aircraft family with 124 Airbus A320-200 and 12 Airbus A320neos. Adding to that, LATAM operates 45 Airbus A319s, 41 Airbus 321s, 39 Boeing 767s, 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and ten Boeing 777s.
Earlier in April 2021, LATAM Airlines Group decided to retire LATAM Brasil’s eleven Airbus A350-900 airliners and replace them with Chilean Boeing 787 Dreamliners, as part of a restructuring plan. The fleet of eleven A350-900s was grounded for lack of demand.