SANTIAGO, Chile: December 28, 2016. Qatar Airways Investments (UK) has completed the acquisition a 10 percent stake in the LATAM Airlines Group after purchasing 60.83 million shares for US$608.37 million.
The move follows the publication of the LATAM Group's November traffic figures that saw cargo decline 5.3 percent to 322 million revenue tonne-kilometers (RTKs) from the same period last year.
For the first 11 months of 2016, LATAM Cargo saw a 9.3 percent drop in RTKs to 3.14 billion year-on-year, resulting in a 2.3 percent fall in overall load factor.
With the Summer fruit harvest underway, the company is busy shipping berries and cherries from Chile and Argentina – most of which arrives in Miami on freighter aircraft and New York/Los Angeles on passenger flights for distribution throughout the U.S.
The 2016 season, which runs until March with the shipment of mangos from Peru, has already produced 11,400 tons of air cargo including 2,230 tons of blueberries from Tucumán, Argentina. Leading European and Asian export markets include London, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, Seoul and Beijing, says the airline.
Also in December LATAM completed its third sheep transport (right) carrying over 2,000 sheep from Punta Arenas, Chile to Quito, Ecuador – where Qatar Cargo will begin flying a B777 freighter in February.
The breed of Marino Magellan sheep, weighing from 40kgs - 80kgs each, were supplied by Sociedad Agroganadera Marín in Chile to Ecuador's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fishing. The animals will be used by Indian sheep-rearing communities and wool handicraft workers as well as for repopulation and genetic improvement, part of a government sustainable livestock project.