LATAM Airlines Group has confirmed that its Argentinian subsidiary has ceased operations indefinitely as a result of “current local industry conditions, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

In a statement the group said that LATAM Airlines Argentina had ceased all passenger and cargo operations, including flights to 12 domestic destinations (Buenos Aires, Iguazú, Bariloche, Salta, Tucumán, Mendoza, Córdoba, Neuquén, Comodoro Rivadavia, Río Gallegos, El Calafate and Ushuaia).

LATAM said that international routes from Argentina to Brazil, Chile and Peru would continue to be served “by other LATAM affiliates, once Covid-19-related travel restrictions are lifted by the authorities”.

The group said that the move “is a result of current market conditions, exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulty of building structural agreements with local industry actors, which has made it impossible to foresee a viable and sustainable long-term project”.

Last month the LATAM Group – including affiliates in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and the United States – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in order to “transform its business to maintain a leading position in Latin American aviation in the post Covid-19 era”. LATAM’s affiliates in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay were not included in the filing.

LATAM Airlines Argentina (formerly LAN Argentina and before that Aero 2000) was founded in 2005, and was an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance until earlier this year.

Aerolineas Argentinas is the country’s largest carrier and a member of the Skyteam alliance.

Commenting on the news Roberto Alvo, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group, said:

“This is regrettable but inevitable news. Today, LATAM must focus on transforming the group to adapt to post-COVID-19 aviation. Argentina has always been a fundamental country for the group and will remain so, with LATAM’s other affiliates continuing to connect passengers from Argentina with Latin America and the world.”