LAN cargo ascending

LAN Airlines saw its cargo business increase an average 11.4 per cent per month between July and September this year.

The airline has however cut its cargo growth forecast to 12-14 per cent from 16-18 per cent as it acknowledged a move to tougher markets.

The Chilean carrier, which has domestic operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, is in the process of merging with Brazil’s TAM. The merger, which will create Latin America’s largest airline and one of the 10 biggest airlines in the world, is slated for completion during the first quarter of 2012.

While actual figures are still to be released analysts speculate that LAN likely saw gains in revenue and operating cash flow in the third quarter due to increased cargo traffic, although net profit is expected to have declined from the third quarter of 2010.

Estimates put LAN’s revenue at US$1.43 billion in the July-September quarter, up 19 per cent from a year earlier. Net profit is expected to have dropped 12 per cent, however, to $95.2 million from $106.2 million a year earlier.

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