Change coming to the LATAM freighter fleet

Brazil-based TAM Linhas Aéreas this week converted two earlier 777-300ER orders to orders for the freighter variant – the 777F.

LAN Cargo 777F Photo: Pieter van Marion/Wikimedia

LAN Cargo 777F Photo: Pieter van Marion/Wikimedia

TAM, like Chile-based LAN, is a subsidiary of the LATAM Group, which appears to be in the process of overhauling its freighter operations. The Group currently has ten 767-300Fs and four 777Fs distributed among its various subsidiaries, but its cargo traffic has been falling lately, and Cargo Facts believes that LATAM is looking to cut several of its 767 freighters.

The Group owns nine of its ten 767-300Fs, and leases one from GECAS. One of the cuts could come through early termination of that lease (we have heard that Canada-based Cargojet would like to take the freighter as soon as possible, so a deal that benefits all parties is easy to visualize). Further cuts could come from the lease or sale of some of the owned units, with one of the major express operators as the likely lessee/buyer.

As the fleet stands today, LATAM’s freighters are distributed among its subsidiary carriers as follows

  • LAN Cargo: Three 777Fs, one 767-300F
  • ABSA Cargo (Brazil): Four 767-300Fs, with one more due shortly (see Florida West, below)
  • Linea Aérea Carguera de Colombia: One 777F, one 767-300F
  • MAS Air (Mexico): Two 767-300Fs
  • TAM does not currently operate any freighters, although ABSA operates a 767-300F on TAM’s behalf, and TAM now has two 777Fs on order.

In addition to the freighters operated by its subsidiary carriers, LATAM also leases two 767-300Fs to US-based Florida West International Airlines. One of these is due to come off lease and be transferred into the ABSA fleet in the near future.

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