Azul CEO Confirms Interest in Acquiring LATAM

Azul’s chief executive doubled down on comments he made last week about a potential acquisition of LATAM Airlines Group, pending the outcome of the Chilean airline’s bankruptcy protection process, Flight Global reported. “The macroeconomic situation promotes consolidation in this space,” Azul’s John Rodgerson said during the Sao Paulo-based company’s third-quarter earnings call on 11 November. “We have a fiduciary responsibility to pursue consolidation.” Last week, in an interview with a Chilean financial publication, Rodgerson revealed plans for possibly acquiring the much larger company. Those plans, however, are at an early stage and are only relevant if LATAM Airlines Group – which was itself formed by the merger of Brazilian carrier TAM and Chilean airline LAN – fails to reach an agreement on restructuring as it seeks to exit US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. LATAM has until 26 November to present a restructuring plan to the US bankruptcy court for the Southern District of New York. The Santiago-based carrier, along with Latin American peers Avianca and Aeromexico, filed for bankruptcy protection after the COVID-19 crisis last year precipitated border closures, decimating travel demand. Avianca’s restructuring plan was accepted earlier this month, and Aeromexico has a court date on its reorganisation strategy next week. Read more.