LAN Airlines S.A, one of the leading airlines in Latin America, and its subsidiaries today reported its preliminary monthly traffic statistics and punctuality indicators for March 2010.
System passenger traffic for March decreased 8.2% as capacity declined 4.1%. As a result, the Company’s load factor decreased 3.2 points to 72.9%. International passenger traffic accounted for approximately 70% of total passenger traffic. March 2010 traffic was affected by flight cancellations due to the shutdown of the Santiago International Airport as a result of the earthquake that affected Chile on February 27, 2010.
Domestic passenger traffic in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador fell 2.9% as capacity decreased 5.3%. As a consequence, the domestic load factor for the month increased 1.8 points to 71.8%.
International passenger traffic for March declined 10.2% as capacity decreased 3.6%. Accordingly, the international passenger load factor for the month fell 5.5 points to 73.4%. International capacity was mainly affected by flight cancellations on long haul routes from Chile to North America, as well as on regional routes due to the earthquake that affected Chile in February.
During the month of March, cargo traffic increased 30.2%. This increase was mainly due to the continued recovery of imports to Latin America driven by Brazil, as well as increased operations to Europe with the Boeing 777-200 freighter fleet. In-line with higher demand, capacity rose 23.3%. As a result, the cargo load factor increased 3.8 points to 71.1%.
During March, 87.9% of the Company’s total flights left on time based on a fifteen-minute standard (all departures leaving within fifteen minutes of the scheduled departure time are considered as “on-time”). This represented a decrease of 5.0 points compared to March 2009.