The severe weather forced a damaged planed for an emergency landing. After encountering "severe weather conditions along its flight path," a LATAM Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport on Wednesday due to damage it sustained during its flight from Santiago, Chile, to Asunción, Paraguay.
The forty-eight people who were on board the LATAM flight described terrifying moments when the plane lost an engine and began rocking violently in all directions. An investigation has been opened by the aviation authorities in Chile, which is the country from which the plane took off.
LATAM Airlines Group S.A. is a holding company that operates as an airline, and its headquarters are located in Santiago, Chile. It has subsidiaries in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru, which gives it the reputation of being the largest airline in Latin America.
The company declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in the United States on May 26, 2020, citing financial difficulties caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.
At the time of its bankruptcy, LATAM Airlines was listed on both the Santiago Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. Despite having its headquarters in Chile, the airline is an American depositary receipt and traded on both of those exchanges.
On June 12, 2020, the stock ticker for the company, LTMAQ, was transferred from the regulated NYSE to the unregulated OTC Markets Pink. This move occurred after the company's stock was delisted from the NYSE.
Chilean authorities approved the LATAM agreement on September 21, 2011, with 11 conditions. Transferring four landing slots at So Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport to competitors interested in operating flights to Santiago de Chile's Comodoro Arturo Merino Bentez International Airport.
It renounces the membership in either the Oneworld or Star Alliance airline alliances, limiting capacity increases on flights between Brazil and Chile, and opening code-share possibilities and fidelity program membership to interested competitors were among them.
Brazilian authorities approved the agreement on December 14, 2011, imposing similar restrictions as Chilean authorities: LATAM would have to choose an alliance by August 2012, and frequencies between So Paulo and Santiago de Chile would be reduced.
TAM had two pairs of slots at the time, while LAN had four. LAN had to give up two pairs to competitors who wanted to use them. LATAM announced its final decision to join Oneworld as its global airline alliance on March 7, 2013. As a result, TAM left Star Alliance to join Oneworld in the second quarter of 2014.
The airline informed CNN in a statement on Thursday that the incident occurred on Wednesday. According to the statement, "Passengers and crew are safe and doing well." Additionally, the airline expressed its regret for "any inconvenience this weather situation may have caused to its passengers."
According to Telefuturo, there were going to be 48 passengers on the flight. The damaged aircraft can be seen in the images obtained by the station, which show that its nose has been removed and that its windshield is broken.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Chile reported that the aviation authorities of Paraguay have begun an investigation and that a team of specialists from the Chilean entity "will be integrated on the ground to collaborate with this investigative process." The statement also stated that the Chilean team "will be collaborating with this investigative process."
Thursday, CNN en Espaol attempted to contact the Paraguayan National Directorate of Civil Aeronautics in order to obtain additional information; however, we have not yet received a response to our inquiry.
Passenger Pabla Thomen relayed the following account to a private radio station on Thursday: "Near Asunción the terrible turbulence began, and people already started to panic, and then the pilot tells us to prepare for an emergency landing." Monumental AM 1080 is a privately owned radio station.
During the turbulence, she got scared and hugged her daughter, and at one point her seat belt came undone. Additionally, Thomen mentioned that she became uneasy. With the assistance of another traveler, she was finally able to fasten her safety belt properly.
During the course of the conversation over the phone, the woman also mentioned that at one point she was "saying goodbye to her daughter, telling her that she loved her, adored her, and that they would always be together."