Latam Airlines passenger traffic up 4.1 pct in April, Brazil boosts

SANTIAGO Fri May 9, 2014 9:41am EDT

SANTIAGO May 9 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines Group SA , Latin America's largest carrier, said on Friday that total passenger traffic rose 4.1 percent in April year-over-year, boosted by its operations in regional giant Brazil.

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

In April, Brazilian domestic passenger traffic increased 8.3 percent, while non-Brazil domestic passenger traffic rose 4.3 percent, the carrier said in a statement.

The company has been cutting capacity in Brazil to boost efficiency and shore up margins. With the reductions, its planes have been flying closer to full capacity.

Load factor, a measure of how full planes are, rose 5.0 points to 82.4 percent in its overall passenger operations. In Brazil, load factor increased 7.2 percentage points to 80.9 percent.

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

International passenger traffic rose 1.5 percent in April, while cargo traffic dropped 11.5 percent. (Reporting by Santiago newsroom; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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