LONDON – On July 11, it has been announced by SKY Leasing that they have completed a sale and leaseback of A320neo’s (New Engine Option) with LATAM.
The Sale & Leaseback
As part of its fleet modernization plan, this sale and leaseback agreement between SKY Leasing and LATAM is the Latin American group’s first containing the Airbus A320neo aircraft.
The agreement consists of 10 Airbus A320neos, of which all were delivered across LATAM subsidiary airlines over the last few years.
Commenting on the latest completion, SKY Leasing’s Senior Vice President (VP), Travis Wiley, has said, “We are delighted to build our partnership with LATAM Airlines, on this first A320NEO delivery, a highly efficient aircraft with excellent range and fuel efficiency metrics.”
Nearly one year ago, LATAM announced that it will continue to move forward with European aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus, for its fleet modernization program.
At the time they had the proposal that they would renew their fleet of narrow-body aircraft with 70 more efficient aircraft from Airbus, of which this sale and leaseback agreement has been among the first of Airbus’ flagship narrow-body family, the A320neo.
LATAM Airlines Group consists of seven subsidiaries that operate throughout Latin America with just over 300 aircraft. Those seven are as follows and contain the following aircraft counts –
- LATAM Airlines Brasil – 135 aircraft.
- LATAM Airlines Chile – 147 aircraft.
- LATAM Airlines Ecuador – four aircraft.
- LATAM Airlines Peru – two aircraft.
- LATAM Cargo Brasil – three aircraft.
- LATAM Cargo Chile – three aircraft.
- LATAM Cargo Colombia – eight aircraft.
Commenting on the plan back then, LATAM Airlines Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Roberto Alvo, said, “The purchase of these highly efficient aircraft is a sign of the commitment we have made with the transformation towards a carbon-neutral LATAM in 2050.”
“At the same time, these 70 aircraft reinforce the connectivity scale of the region. We will continue working responsibly to exit Chapter 11 with a fleet that accompanies the group’s new challenges.”
President of Airbus for Latin American and the Caribbean, Arturo Barreira, also added to Alvo’s comments saying, “The decision of LATAM Airlines Group to continue incorporating A320neo aircraft, demonstrates its great commitment to sustainability.”
“The A320neo has the latest generation engines, sharklets, and an innovative cabin, serving as the most comfortable, fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendly single-aisle aircraft in the world.”
It is evident that despite LATAM’s troubled past couple of years, they are now pushing forward with their fleet renewal program and this latest agreement with SKY Leasing will be certainly one of many for the group, especially if the group is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, alongside the worldwide aviation industry.
However, it is unlikely that the carrier will stretch back to its long-haul operations soon, yes they are still taking delivery of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, but the carrier did remove its 13 Airbus A350-900s, of which most ended up going to Delta Air Lines.
Interestingly, this all surfaced within the space of a year of LATAM and Delta announcing a joint venture back in 2020 and was part of a plan to maintain and eventually increase LATAM’s profitability.