LATAM Airlines Group has announced that it firmed options for four P2F-converted B767-300ER(BCF)s and ordered a further two units of the type as it seeks to grow its B767-300 freighter fleet to 21 aircraft by the end of 2023.

The options were part of a deal with Boeing announced in March 2021 for four firm and four optioned B767-300(BCF)s.

"The decision to expand our fleet is based on the attractive growth opportunities available, recent efficiency improvements and flexibility that the B767-300 freighter offers. Thanks to these elements we believe we will grow profitably, even if facing conditions similar to those that we faced before the pandemic. This expansion will allow LATAM’s cargo subsidiaries to continue responding to our customers’ needs and supporting the region’s economic growth through increased and improved connectivity," LATAM Cargo Chief Executive Andrés Bianchi said.

Deliveries of the ten aircraft, including the four firm-ordered in March, are expected to commence in December this year. All ten should be in place by the end of 2023.

The airline did not disclose the identity of the aircraft and did not confirm whether it would convert any of its own B767-300ERs or source the aircraft from elsewhere. The ch-aviation fleets module shows the group owns and operates a total of twenty-eight B767-300(ER)s, split between LATAM Airlines Perú (fifteen) and LATAM Airlines Brasil (thirteen). Two, soon to be three, of these operate as makeshift freighters with their seats removed.

While LATAM did not disclose which AOC(s) it would place the new B767-300(ERBCF)s on, it did say that it would use them to increase cargo capacity to/from Chile, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. It has its cargo subsidiaries in Chile (LATAM Cargo Chile), Brazil (LATAM Cargo Brasil), and Colombia (LATAM Cargo Colombia), while its Ecuadorian airline operates only passenger aircraft at this moment.

LATAM Cargo's fleet currently comprises eight production B767-300Fs (operated in Chile, Brazil, and Colombia) and three B767-300(ERBCF)s operated by the Colombian unit. The group recently cancelled its sole outstanding order for B777-200Fs in favour of the B767s.