The Falkland Islands Government continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the suspension of commercial air links with Chile and Brazil, in light of the ongoing pandemic.
While these flights are vital to the social and economic development of the Islands, the government remains committed to ensuring that the health and safety of the community is maintained, as the circumstances across mainland South America continue to evolve.
As announced on 27 August 2020, the Punta Arenas-Santiago route will remain suspended until at least 2 January 2021; the situation will be reviewed towards the end of that period. LATAM has also now confirmed with FIG the São Paulo route will remain suspended until at least 31 March 2021.
Director of Development and Commercial Services, Catherine Silva Donayre, said: “Ever since the decision was first taken to suspend these flights, we have worked very closely with LATAM, not only to monitor the situation, but to start to develop longer term plans for the reinstatement of these routes. As can be seen across the world, the pandemic continues to impact significantly on all aspects of international travel and it’s vital that we strike the right balance between keeping our people safe and planning to resume these flights at the right time. This also means supporting local businesses who have been impacted by the suspension of the flights so that they are in a good position to resume their activities once these routes restart.
FIG and LATAM are equally committed to the long term viability of these routes”
In related news LATAM Airlines, the continent's largest carrier, said it lost US$ 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 US$ 3.6 billion. The airline also burned through more than US$ 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.