LATAM Airlines posts $573 million loss because of coronavirus restrictions

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait to check in for their flights at the departure area of Latam airlines inside of the Commodore Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines LTM.SN, the continent's largest carrier, said on Friday it lost $573 million in the third quarter, as the company continues a bankruptcy restructuring process that started in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue fell 81% in the quarter compared to a year ago.

The results “are not a surprise given the context,” said LATAM’s Chief Financial Officer Ramiro Alfonsin in a call with reporters. Like most airlines around the world, LATAM’s domestic flights are recovering at faster pace than international routes after months of economic restrictions imposed to curb the virus.

So far this year LATAM has reported a net loss of $3.6 billion.

The airline also burned through more than $200 million in cash between July and September, although in October it said it got access to fresh liquidity as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; editing by Grant McCool