LATAM Airlines suffered two serious accidents within a month, the first in Asuncion and the second in Paraguay. October has proved to be a difficult month for LATAM Airlines Group, as the same month saw a serious incident that occurred on October 26 at Asunción International Airport (ASU), Paraguay, and another on November 18 at Lima International Airport (LIM), Peru. There was an accident. Let us tell you about these two incidents in brief.
Incident of Asuncion
The first incident occurred on Wednesday, October 26, when LATAM Paraguay was operating flight 1325 between Santiago de Chile Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport (SCL) and Asuncion International Airport (ASU). Meanwhile, bad weather caused the flight to Paraguay to be diverted to Brazil’s Foz de Iguaçu/Catarratas International Airport (IGU).
After waiting in Foz de Iguaçu for around three hours, the plane departed again to Asunción. Nonetheless, the severe weather remains in Asunción, which forced the crew to make an emergency landing. Videos of the incident show intense rain, a thunderstorm, & instability.
This greatly damaged the plane, an Airbus A320 registration CC-BAZ, which undergo damage to its radome, engines, & windshield. The plane stay grounded in Asunción for over a month & has lately been allowed to work for a ferry flight from Asunción to São Carlos, Brazil, which is where LATAM has its MRO.
On board flight 1325, there were 48 passengers. There were no strict injuries due to the disaster. Paraguay’s civil aviation authorities start an investigation; LATAM Airlines & Chile’s establishment is keenly participating in this investigation.
The 2nd incident at Lima
A few weeks later, terrible luck –and maybe miscommunication– struck LATAM again. On November 18, LATAM’s flight LA2213 was departing Lima International Airport en route to Juliaca in local service. While moving, the aircraft crashed with a fire truck that entered the landing strip at the same time.
The airport’s firefighter squad was supposedly performing an exercise called Response Time. According to the airport’s manager, the firefighters were authorized to enter the landing strip, but something went horribly wrong in what was supposed to be regular training.
Due to this mishap, two firefighters pass away, & one was brutally injured. Onboard the aircraft, there were no losses among the 102 passengers & six crew members, although the airplane, an Airbus A320neo, registration CC-BHB, is believed to be a write-off.
What could have been an outstanding month for LATAM?
Between LATAM’s event in Paraguay & the accident in Lima, the airline had a number of big news. After two & a half years, the airline comes out of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy course in the United States. LATAM come out with over $2.2 billion of liquidity and about $3.6 billion less debt on its balance sheet (equivalent to a 35% debt lessening from the pre-filing period).