LATAM Airlines Group, the largest air carrier in Latin America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, according to a statement released on its website.
South America’s biggest airline sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday as it grapples with the sharp downturn in air travel sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Latam Airlines said that it and several of its affiliated companies launched the reorganization effort in the United States in a bid to reduce its debt and find new financing sources.
The bankruptcy filing underscores the severity of the financial challenges the travel industry faces as a result of the lockdowns, quarantines and other measures taken by governments the world over to stem the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Passenger and cargo flights will continue to operate, and employees will still be paid, the Santiago, Chile-based airline company said. Travelers with existing tickets and vouchers can still use them.