Santiago-based LATAM Airlines Group will overhaul the interior of over 200 aircraft—two-thirds of its global fleet—over the next two years, at an investment of $400 million, the company said during its 2Q 2018 quarterly operations call.
LATAM plans to debut its new retrofitted interiors by the end of 2018, concentrating at first on aircraft flying its domestic short-haul routes within Latin America. Cabins will be renovated on over 150 of LATAM’s Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, adding Wi-Fi connectivity, increased IFE options and “ergonomically-designed” seats made by Germany-based Recaro Aircraft Seating, all of which will be equipped with USB ports.
LATAM Airlines Peru will be the first of LATAM’s regional carriers to receive the redesigned aircraft, expected to be in operation by year-end; LATAM Airlines Brasil will receive its retrofiited aircraft at the beginning of 2019, followed by LATAM Airlines Chile in the second half of 2019.
The company will also update cabins on its existing fleet of about 50 Boeing 767 and 777s utilized on long-haul international routes to/from Europe and the US, as well as its new 787-9s and Airbus A350-1000s due in the next few years (LATAM has eight 787-9s and 12 A350-1000s on order, still to be delivered).
The widebodies will be fitted with new seating in both premium business class and economy class. In premium business, LATAM will install ‘wide Thompson’ seats that offer direct aisle access with seating options for both individuals and couples, as well as a full-flat bed and 18 inch personal screens. Economy seats on the forthcoming widebodies will be fitted with the Recaro ergonomic seats, also including USB ports, and equipped with larger 12 inch individual seat back screens for improved IFE.
LATAM is also planning to offer passengers in both its international economy flights and its domestic routes the option to upgrade to ‘LATAM+ seats,’ which will offer increased space and greater recline ability on international flights and more space and dedicated overhead bins on domestic/regional flights. The upgrade also includes priority check-in and boarding.