MEXICO - Transport
General Manager for Mexico, LATAM Airlines
Diana Olivares has more than 20 years of experience in the airline industry and has dedicated her career to successfully developing projects in Mexico and Central America. She developed her professional career at LATAM Airlines successfully holding various positions, where she was in charge of a team of executives in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, and Cancún, as well as different business partners in Central America and the Caribbean. In 2018, she became the first woman to hold the position of LATAM General Manager in Mexico. In 2022, Olivares also serves as President of the National Chamber of Air Transport (CANAERO), the first woman to hold this position in the more than 50-year history of the institution. She has been selected as one of the 100 most powerful women in the country.
With the revival of air travel, LATAM is also focused on sustainability and staying ahead of customers’ needs in an evolving world.
What steps is LATAM Group taking to better position itself among executive travelers?
We are working at 74% of our pre-pandemic operations, we have 1,123 flights a day, 133 destinations and travel to 21 countries. We are in the process of re-establishing our position in the executive traveler market. From Mexico, LATAM Group flies to Santiago and São Paulo daily, and also flies to Lima, which are 10 frequencies per week. From there, we have connections to all of Latin America. We will have 10 flights to Peru. In fact, we are the only airline in South America that flies with a large body plane, and we have all the national Peruvian connections. According to different studies, only 5% of Mexicans fly to South America, and we want to increase that number. It is definitely a destination we want to work with now, after the pandemic. We have many promotions together with tourism organizations from South American countries and are currently working with our commercial partners, tourism agencies, and several forums. The goal is to increase the weight of South America using its currencies, languages, culture, nature, its wonders, and much more.
What trends do you see from South America to Mexico regarding your sector?
Regarding national trends, there is a change of mindset in tourism and flying, as people are becoming more aware and sustainable. Hygiene measures are now also important. We have many processes in place to ensure hygiene and safety. Our company has a sustainable strategy where we care about climate change and the circular economy. For example, the cabin crew uniforms are sent to communities in South America to be used in craftwork. By 2023, we want to get rid of all plastic containers and single-use plastic. We have an airline global goal by IATA: to be zero/neutral emitters by 2050. We want the whole industry to have this type of action. We are also carrying out investigations on bio-degradable fuel. When it comes to fuel, social and political matters, and natural events, aviation has always been in the eye of the hurricane. We work with alliances and study the offer and demand. Everything is based on numbers and knowing the consumer. We are used to crises. Right now, fuel represents 40% of the cost for all airlines.
What are your expansion plans for Mexico?
We are the airline with the most seats for South America. Before the pandemic, a flight was taking off every minute. We are conducting a great deal of activity on social media, communicating to consumers and tourism agencies. Paying attention to what each customer needs is crucial for our company, and we became more aware of those needs after the pandemic. Our company has several national Chilean, Peruvian, Colombian, and Ecuadorian flights, as well as many Europe and Mexico-North America connections. Our goal is to keep on growing and build new alliances.
What are your overall priorities for next year?
In Mexico, our goal is the recovery of flights. In Peru, we will increase the frequencies we had before COVID-19. In the corporate sector, we are working on a corporate value proposal. We have sustainability, inclusion, and equity as part of our development plan, and we are completely trained for this. For example, with regards to inclusion, in planes we have staff being trained to deal with people with autism. With human resources, we are working on including disabilities in our matters. With regards to equity, we work with many “minorities” that are not really minorities when it comes to numbers, such as women who represent around 52% of the population. In Brazil, which represents almost 50% of Latam, a big part of the population is black, so we work on ways on racial equality, as well as with LGBTQ+ people. Such diversity helps us greatly.
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