LATAM Airlines says passenger traffic rose 3.1 pct in October

SANTIAGO Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:41pm EST

SANTIAGO Nov 12 (Reuters) - Latin America's largest carrier, LATAM Airlines , said on Tuesday that total passenger traffic increased 3.1 percent in October from the previous year, led by rising numbers of domestic travelers outside Brazil.

The company was formed in 2012 from the tie-up of Chile's LAN and Brazilian airline TAM.

In October, Brazilian domestic passenger traffic slipped 0.5 percent, while non-Brazil domestic passenger traffic increased 9.9 percent, the carrier said in a statement.

LATAM Airlines has domestic operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.

Load factor - a measure of how full planes are - rose 4.2 percentage points to 80.3 percent in Brazil. The company has been cutting capacity in the country to boost efficiency.

LATAM Airlines has been battered by weakness in its Brazilian market but reported a swing to a net profit for the third quarter and improving margins on Monday in a sign that it may have started to turn the corner.

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