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LAN Perú is the national carrier of Peru and is based at Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport. LAN Peru is 49% owned by LAN Airlines and a part of the LAN group of airlines, which also includes LAN Cargo, LAN Express, LAN Ecuador and LAN Argentina. LAN Perú is the dominant operator with more than 70% of Peruvian market share. The airline operates a regional network of services to destinations in Peru and South America, and intercontinental services to North America and Spain.
Location of LAN Peru main hub (Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport)
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JetBlue plans to introduce its first destination south of the equator in Nov-2013 with new daily service from Fort Lauderdale in South Florida to Lima in Peru. The move is consistent with the carrier’s plan to use Fort Lauderdale as a springboard into Latin America as JetBlue indicates more international service from the airport is in the pipeline.
JetBlue is also seizing a prime opportunity to introduce low-cost competition in market where the only LCC presence is a single weekly flight operated by Spirit Airlines. Other carriers operating in the South Florida-Lima market are oneworld partners American Airlines and LAN and Star Alliance member TACA Peru.
Services JetBlue has launched from Fort Lauderdale to Latin America appear to have a short maturation time, which results in the carrier looking to harvest more of those opportunities to balance out new market introductions that take longer to mature. JetBlue has identified about 20 potential new markets in Central America, South America and the Caribbean that are viable from Fort Lauderdale.
Avianca-TACA will come full circle during 2H2013 as its various airlines unify under the Avianca brand more than three years after the Avianca-TACA merger kickstarted consolidation in Latin America and drove the decision by LAN and TAM to form what is now the region’s powerhouse LATAM Airlines Group. During 2013 the competition between the two largest airline groups in Latin American will only intensify in the markets where they already compete fiercely – Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
With Avianca-TACA completing its merger more than two years ahead of LATAM, Avianca-TACA has the benefit of harvesting a combined network whereas LATAM is just beginning to ferret out the benefits of its newly combined network resources.
In addition to continued competitive pressure from LATAM during 2013 Avianca-TACA will also encounter some new competition on international flights from Ecuador and some pressure from startup VivaColombia in its largest market Colombia. At the same time Avianca-TACA continues to battle infrastructure constraints at its largest hub Bogota, which could result in further expansion at its Lima and San Salvador hubs.
TACA Peru is planning further expansion with the introduction of widebody aircraft, two A330s, which will be used initially to increase capacity to Buenos Aires, Bogota and Miami. The upcoming expansion at the Avianca-TACA subsidiary follows rapid growth by the Peruvian carrier over the last two years in both the domestic and international markets. TACA Peru earlier this year became the second largest carrier in the country’s fast-growing domestic market, a position it has had for several years in Peru’s international market.
The new fleet of Lima-based A330s should help Avianca-TACA close the gap with rival LATAM, which is by far the largest airline group in Peru and the broader South American market. Avianca-TACA has been focusing on expanding its Lima hub, which is well positioned as a north-south hub for the fast-growing intra-Latin American market, as congestion at its main hub at Bogota increases. TACA Peru is one of several TACA carriers being rebranded Avianca in 1H2013 as Avianca-TACA finally moves to a single brand three years after it completed its merger.
Latin America’s powerful new force LATAM Airlines Group recorded USD50 million in net income and USD23 million in operating income for 2Q2012, the first time the combined entity of LAN and TAM has reported consolidated quarterly results since the close of their historic merger on 22-Jun-2012. While the combined result was positive, the separate performance of each carrier was less favourable with TAM recording a USD14 million operating loss for 2Q2012 and LAN only turning a small operating profit of USD37 million. The combined result posted by LATAM only includes eight days of contribution from TAM as the merger was finalised near the end of 2Q2012.
TAM posted a BRL928 million (USD458 million) net loss during 2Q2012 driven by foreign exchange currency challenges and losses from the carrier’s fuel hedging portfolio. LAN recorded a 68% slide in net profits to USD5 million, driven by weaker conditions in its cargo business and one time costs associated with union negotiations and the merger with TAM. Going forward the combined company plans to focus much of its 3%-4% capacity growth in 2012 on the strong north-south routes to North America.
LAN turned a net profit of only USD16 million in 2Q2011, a 74% decrease compared with the USD61 million profit from 2Q2010 and the airline group’s lowest profit for any quarter since 2Q2009. LAN, which over the past several years has had one of highest airline profit margins in the world, also recorded its lowest operating profit margin in five years. The Chile-based airline group said its 2Q2011 results were impacted by higher fuel prices, operational disruptions caused by volcanic ash and losses at new Colombian subsidiary Aires.
Peru’s vibrant market continues to record rapid traffic growth as TACA intensifies competition against market leader LAN and two local carriers. The Peruvian domestic market grew by 23% in Feb-2011 and 22% in Jan-2011, according to statistics from the Peruvian DGAC based on total passengers carried. This follows 28% growth in 2010 to 5.5 million passengers.
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