FARNBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM – LATAM Airlines Group S.A., Latin America’s leading airline group, and world-class airline Qatar Airways, both members of the oneworld alliance, announced today that they have entered into a subscription agreement providing for Qatar Airways to acquire up to 10 per cent of LATAM’s total shares, which will be acquired in connection with a capital increase.
As provided for in the subscription agreement, LATAM Airlines Group will hold an Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting no later than 2 September, 2016 to propose a capital increase in the amount of US$613 million through the issuance of new shares at a price of US$10 per share.
The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Air Show in England, by both airlines’ CEOs: His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways and Mr. Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
“LATAM represents an exciting opportunity to invest and support the development of our long-term relationship. As a leading airline in Latin America, and key member of oneworld, this investment provides potential opportunities for Qatar Airways’ global network, alongside our successful investment in IAG,” said His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways.
“We are proud to announce Qatar Airways as a new shareholder of LATAM, reaffirming our bond as existing members of the oneworld alliance. This investment recognises LATAM’s achievements and supports our project for the future. In addition to strengthening our financial position, it will allow us to explore new opportunities for connectivity with Asia and the Middle East, as well as other potential areas of cooperation,” said Mr. Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group.
The companies expect the transaction to be completed within the fourth quarter of 2016. Qatar Airways was advised by HSBC Bank plc, Weil, Gotshall & Manges LLP and Carey, whilst LATAM Airlines Group S.A. was advised by JP Morgan, Claro & Cia y Sullivan & Cromwell.
LATAM to operate flights to Puerto Natales, Patagonia
LATAM Airlines announced that it will begin a twice-weekly seasonal service between Santiago and Puerto Natales, Patagonia, from 6 December 2016 until 25 February 2017.
The route will offer passengers easier access during the summer months to Puerto Natales and surrounding attractions, including Torres del Paine National Park. Tickets will be on sale from 27 July via latam.com
“With this new service we will improve connectivity in Patagonia, facilitate easier access to one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions as well as continue to contribute to the development of Chile and its regions,” said Gonzalo Undurraga, CEO of LATAM Airlines Chile. “As an airline group, we are committed to offering passengers unrivalled connectivity to, from and within Latin America as well as the opportunity to visit the awe-inspiring destinations that this vast continent has to offer.”
LATAM Airlines Chile flight LA001 will depart Santiago at 10:45 on Saturday and Tuesday, arriving in Puerto Natales at 13:55, with a journey time of 3 hours 10 minutes. The return flight (LA002) will depart Puerto Natales at 14:35 on Saturday and Tuesday – stopping in Punta Arenas – and arrive in Santiago at 19:30, with a journey time of 4 hours 55 minutes (all times local). The flight times are scheduled to enable convenient connections with international flights to and from Europe, the United States and other international destinations.
The service will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft with capacity for 174 passengers. The airline groups projects that it will transport approximately 7,500 passengers on the route during its three months of operation.
The port of Puerto Natales, located in the south of Chilean Patagonia, sits in a protected bay against the backdrop of the Patagonian Andes and is only 70 miles (112 km) from the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. Tourists and hiking enthusiasts from around the world travel to see the Paine Massif (Paine mountain range) and its granite towers (‘Las Torres’) that reach 2,500m above sea level as well as the surrounding glaciers, lakes and rivers. Natural Geographic named it the fifth most beautiful place on earth and over 5 million people voted it as the Eighth Wonder of the World in an internet survey by online travel guide VirtualTourist.
LATAM Airlines serves the principal tourist destinations throughout Chile, ranging from San Pedro de Atacama (via Calama) and Iquique in the north to Pucon (via Temuco) and Chiloe in south. It is also the only airline to operate flights to Easter Island, the remotest island on earth. With the addition of Puerto Natales service, the airline group will fly to 17 destinations in Chile and over 110 destinations in Latin America.
LATAM serves southern Patagonia year-round with daily flights between Santiago and Punta Arenas.
LAN Airlines, now LATAM Airlines, was recently named the ‘Best Airline in South America’ in the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the fourth consecutive year.