LATAM secures new financing to help stave off bankruptcy 9 July 2020 - 21:51

Latin America's biggest airline LATAM announced on Thursday it has secured $1.3 billion in financing from a US investment fund to help it survive the aviation industry crisis brought on by the coronavirus.LATAM filed for bankruptcy in the United States in May, having been forced to scale back its operations by 95 percent due to the pandemic as travel ground to a halt worldwide.Oaktree Capital Management pledged the $1.3 billion after LATAM had secured $900 million in credit from Qatar Airways and the Cueto and Amaro families, who are already shareholders in the Chilean-Brazilian company.It means that LATAM has managed to complete two sections, A and C, of the financing proposal it presented under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy process.Chapter 11 proceedings allow a company that is no longer able to repay its debt to restructure under court supervision without pressure from creditors."Today the LATAM group took a big step towards guaranteeing its operational continuity by obtaining from Oaktree Capital Management and its affiliates the commitment for the entirety of the Section A financing," the group said in a statement.This proposal must be reviewed and approved by the New York court in the coming days. LATAM is hoping "it won't be necessary to call for financing from governments" for the proposal to be authorized.The airline announced that its Brazilian subsidiary had joined the Chapter 11 proceedings due to the continuing crisis, which will help facilitate access to the financing proposal.Before the pandemic, LATAM -- a merger of Chile's LAN and Brazil's TAM -- flew to 145 destinations in 26 countries, operating around 1,400 flights a day, transporting 74 million passengers a year.

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