If you've been reading GradMoney for a while, you know that I love two kinds of companies more than anything: coffee and airlines. It's unfortunate that investors miss out on rallies in the airline sector because they happen far more often than you'd think. Today I'm not going to discuss any rallies in the airline sector, but rather talk about a "rising" airline that is making a big impact on an already rising market: Latin America. This article is inspired by a piece in Business Insider on LATAM, a newly merged airline set to dominate the South American market.
Founded in 2015, LATAM is one of newest international airline brands in the world, however it's one backed by 90 years worth of history and experience.The brand is a result of a 2012 merger between Chile's LAN Airlines and Brazil's TAM (LAN + TAM = LATAM). Together they form the largest airline in Latin America with 46,000 employees operating subsidiaries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. LATAM's modern fleet is made up of more than 300 new Boeing and Airbus jets. Last year, the airline's profits jumped 10% to $568 million with a margin of 6% after streamlining its operations post merger.
Here's a quick overview of the airline, as it should be on your radar (pun intended) in the coming years for a way to jump into the airline sector:
In 2012, LAN Chile, which has been in operation since 1929, merged with Brazil's TAM airlines, which have been around since 1976.
The airline has one of the newest fleets in the world with an average age of just seven years.
LATAM was one of the first airlines in the world to operate the ultra-fuel efficient Airbus A320neo, Airbus A350XWB, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The airline has also bolstered its international in-flight experience as well, with premium business cabins that feature sleeper seats that convert into 73-inch long beds, and passengers have access to a full-range of movies, music, and TV shows on a 15-inch display.
To be even more fancy, the airline's amenity kits were created by Salvatore Ferragamo.
Premium cabin passengers are also treated to gourmet meals featuring natural ingredients sourced from South America paired with wines selected by master sommelier Hector Vergara.
However, if you can't afford a first-class ticket, the economy cabin is pretty awesome as well: LATAM's economy cabin features 31-32 inches of seat pitch. In addition, food services come with complimentary wine service on long-haul flights. On top of that, its aircraft are also equipped with seatback entertainment screens with more than 100 movies along with a selection of music and TV show.
Just to be even more "fancy" the pattern on the bathroom floor is inspired by the boardwalk in Ipanema, Brazil.
The airlines' new fleet of Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 feature cabins that are 40% quieter with 40% larger windows (I know from experience, this is true). The cabins are also pressurized to mimic conditions at a more comfortable altitude with air that's less dry.