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LATAM Airline set for World Cup ‘loss’: Chairman

LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's largest airline, is set to make a loss during the World Cup period, the company's chairman told CNBC, as businesses wound down during the tournament.

The carrier formed after the merger of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines in 2012, saw total passenger traffic increase 1.1 percent in June from a year before, a drop from the 2.8 percent rise recorded in May.

Marcos Issa | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mauricio Amaro, LATAM Airlines' chairman, said businesses were winding down before the World Cup in Brazil, therefore using the airline less.

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"Well June to begin with we had a major event, the World Cup so that disrupted local traffic," Amaro told CNBC at the Farnborough Airshow.

"May was a good month, better than budgeted, because companies' business traffic anticipated all its activity so then they relaxed in June and July. They have been slower months than usual."

LATAM made a $41 million net loss for the first quarter of 2014. Excluding the one-off costs of the fleet restructuring it undertook, it made a net profit of $81 million.

Amaro said the airline is likely to make a loss during the World Cup period.

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"We are budgeted to lose during the world cup because traffic goes away, we have an increment of operation and a reduction in overall use," he told CNBC.

"But it is a little too early to see how much, we are going to need another much to figure out the final numbers."

Despite the tough trading period during the tournament that was finally won by Germany on Sunday, Amaro is confident on the company's ability to grow in the Latin America region.

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While slowing growth and lack of economic reform in Brazil and Argentina are a "problem" at the moment, according to Amaro, he is sure that the emerging Latin America region will provide the company with a strong backdrop to expand.

"There is much to be done in South America. Connectivity in South America is still poor so there is a lot of room for growth in South America," Amaro said.

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