Aviation News

June 16, 2016

LATAM Airlines Brazil Prepares Its Operation for Rio 2016 Olympics

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With the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to Rio de Janeiro later this summer, LATAM airlines has spent the past 12 months preparing for the expected jump in air travelers and cargo descending upon Brazil. In their recent press release, LATAM estimates they will carry approximately 25 percent of the public Olympic spectators and as much as 30 percent of the 4,500 Paralympic athletes. “LATAM is ready for the Olympic challenge,” said Eduardo Costa, Senior Director of Services and Innovation at LATAM Airlines Brazil in the company’s press release, “We began our preparations in June last year to speed up services for athletes, provide care for Paralympic athletes, accommodate special air cargo and coordinate large-scale simultaneous arrivals and departures in a single city.”

image002Preparations have included simulations, tests, additional training and bulking up operational safety. All crucial components of successfully performing within the Olympic related influx. LATAM has worked with Congohas, Guarulhos, Santos Dumont and Galeao airports, along with Brazil’s Civil Aviation department on test scenarios that challenged the involved parties on high concentrations of traffic, transfers and logistics. Additionally, the test scenarios borrowed from the experiences of airlines and operators with past Olympic experiences.

Running August 5-21, 2016, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad promise to “provide the best possible environment for peak performances,” and LATAM seems prepared to match that with their operational output as well. During the games they will be operating a special control center, prioritizing care of the Paralympic athletes, providing faster service with advance flight and baggage check-in at the Olympic Village, ensure special care and assistance at their partner airports and of course expanding their route network and fleet availability. LATAM plans to schedule six additional aircraft at the four busiest airports to be affected by the Games, with to-date (early June) 100 extra domestic flights be added. There is a chance that number could balloon to 300 extra segments.

image003Those athletes arriving on the flights can take advantage of passenger guides, English and Spanish interpreters, advance check-in for flight and baggage when the appropriate identification is presented, and specifically for Paralympians, an expanded offering of mobility services for both the athletes and their mobility equipment. LATAM is putting their time, talent and resources to work in anticipation of the Games, to the tune of R$20 million, as noted in the airline’s press release, “…with R$15 million allocated to special operations and R$5 million set aside for potential contingencies during the events.”

The multidisciplinary team that has been tasked with preparing the airline for the steep peak in air traffic in August promises to be at-the-ready to “ensure service quality to spectators and delegations.” With 100 initiatives implemented, a great many of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes and Games spectators are certain to be affected by one of that 100.