LATAM Airlines begins special operations for 2016 Olympics

Image credit: LATAM Airlines

Image credit: LATAM Airlines

Yesterday (1 August) marked the official kick-off of LATAM Airlines Brazil’s special operation for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil’s main airports.

A total of more than 100 special operational initiatives were developed to efficiently serve the fans and delegations, and maintain service quality for all passengers travelling with the airline in the months of August and September.

The main focus is to guarantee on-time and safe operation throughout the event, paying special attention to the opening and closing weekends, when Rio de Janeiro will welcome a concentrated flow of passengers in its two airports (Santos Dumont and Galeão).

LATAM Airlines Brazil expects to serve around 25 per cent of the public using air travel to get to the games. Of the 4,500 Paralympic athletes, 30 per cent are expected to travel on LATAM aircraft. The company’s investment in the operation will total up to R$20 million, with R$15 million allocated for special operational initiatives and R$5 million to resolving potential contingencies.

“This is the logistics challenge of the world’s biggest event, and we are ready to provide fast service to athletes, take care of all passengers, accommodate special cargo and coordinate mass departures and arrivals, which will be concentrated in specific days and in a single city,” said Eduardo Costa, Services and Innovation Director at LATAM Airlines Brazil.

The special actions planned by LATAM Airlines Brazil focus on the following:

  • Special Control Centre: a special operations desk fully dedicated to the games started operating at 4am yesterday (1 August). The centre will be available 24/7 throughout the event and will be run by a multi-disciplinary team. The stand-by team coordinates potential contingencies on an integrated basis in order to mitigate impacts and rapidly develop solutions for passengers during the games
  • Paralympic care: to serve the concentrated flow of passengers with disabilities, the company has temporarily adapted some procedures on board and at airports. LATAM Airlines Brazil has also made available platform lifts and protection equipment for the passengers’ personal wheelchairs. Additionally, the company has developed, in partnership with a Brazilian manufacturer, a proprietary boarding and landing wheelchair model. All of these 48 wheelchairs have been developed exclusively to access the aisles of any LATAM aircraft and are located at the busy airports of São Paulo (Congonhas and Guarulhos), Brasília and Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont and Galeão)
  • Flexibility for athletes: up to 15 per cent of delegations will arrive at and depart from Rio de Janeiro on a LATAM Airlines Brazil flight during the games. They can take advantage of advance passenger and baggage check-in at the Olympic and Paralympic Village with special identification for items. As many as 995 members of the Brazilian delegation will benefit from this measure
  • Special care and assistance at airports: a LATAM Passenger Guide in three languages (Portuguese, Spanish and English) provides instructions to make the customer’s trip easy and simple. The guide is already available here. It will also be distributed to LATAM Travel customers and at Brazil’s main airports. Foreign customers will also be assisted by interpreters for English and Spanish speakers at the airports in Rio de Janeiro (Santos Dumont and Galeão), Brasília and São Paulo (Congonhas and Guarulhos). Furthermore, in the event of any contingency, each customer will be entitled to a personal credit card to cover expenses with meals and accommodation
  • Network and Fleet: six additional aircraft are already positioned at the busiest airports, with four Airbus A320 in Brasília and São Paulo (Congonhas and Guarulhos) and two Boeings (one 767 and one 777) in São Paulo (Guarulhos). A total of 150 additional domestic LATAM flights are scheduled for the Rio 2016 Olympics period at the Santos Dumont and Galeão airport
Source = LATAM Airlines
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