LAN Airlines S.A. and its subsidiaries, (“LAN” or “the Company”) (NYSE: LFL / IPSA: LAN), one of the leading airlines in Latin America, today reported its preliminary monthly traffic statistics and punctuality indicators for February 2012 compared to February 2011.
System passenger traffic increased 17.2% as capacity rose 15.6%. As a result, the Company’s load factor for the month increased 1.2 points to 83.4%. International passenger traffic accounted for approximately 65.5% of the month’s total passenger traffic.
Domestic passenger traffic in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia rose 21.3%, as capacity increased 18.1%. As a consequence, the domestic passenger load factor increased 2.2 points to 82.1%. International passenger traffic rose 15.2%, while capacity increased 14.3%. Accordingly, the international passenger load factor for the month increased 0.6 points to 84.1%. International capacity expansion was mainly driven by an increase in operations on certain regional routes, as well as routes to the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, partially offset by reduced capacity on routes to Europe.
Cargo traffic decreased 1.7% as capacity increased 1.4%. As a consequence, the cargo load factor decreased 2.1 points to 65.1%. The low increase in cargo capacity is a result of no additional freighters being incorporated since January 2011 in addition to decreased availability in the bellies of passenger aircraft that decreased the final cargo capacity. The decrease in traffic is a response to weaker global cargo markets that have driven additional competition to South America (especially Brazil), as well as new regulations in Argentina that reduced imports during February 2012.
During February, 82.0% 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 an increase of 2.4 points compared to February 2011.
LAN Airlines is one of the leading passenger and cargo airlines in Latin America. The company and its affiliates serve over 100 destinations around the world through an extensive network that offers full connectivity within Latin America, while also linking the region with North America, Europe and the South Pacific, as well as 70 additional international destinations through its various code share agreements. LAN Airlines and its affiliates have a leading position in their respective domestic markets of Chile and Peru as well as an important presence in the Argentinean, Ecuadorian and Colombian domestic markets.