October 26. Latam Airlines Group’s chief executive wants to steer his company out of bankruptcy next year with a shrinking carbon footprint and lower costs that can help it grow in a travel market still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Roberto Alvo said Latin America’s largest air carrier is making progress on a financing plan that it will submit to a judge next month, putting it on track to exit bankruptcy protection as soon as the first half of 2022.
During the Chapter 11 process, which it entered last May, the company retooled its fleet and slashed operating costs to compete with low-cost carriers. But Alvo, a two-decade company veteran who took over as CEO last April as the pandemic was upending air travel, is stressing its role as a corporate citizen, including its pledge cut carbon emissions.
Latam “will be financially much stronger than how it entered and very willing and able to take market opportunities to grow,” Alvo said in an interview in Bogota on the sidelines of an airline conference. “But most important is that the countries where we operate understand the company as an asset to society.”
Carriers around the globe, including Latam, are vowing to eliminate carbon emissions on a net basis by 2050 as the industry aligns with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming. Airlines have few options to reach the goal, at least in the short term, as production of more sustainable fuels remains limited.