Trade unions in the ITF LATAM network questioned 189 technicians at LATAM Airlines in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Colombia. Eighty percent reported that, in the last three years, they have seen "a greater number of incidents or problems with aircraft due to the company’s budget cuts."
Thirty four percent reported "pressure to finish work at the expense of quality and/or safety" on flights, and 23 percent have experienced increasing "fatigue and tiredness due to the large number of working hours".
LATAM Airlines includes the LAN and TAM brands. It is an official sponsor of the Rio 2016 Olympics and during the games is operating 300 extra flights.
The company has implemented ‘Simplicity’ and ‘MAR’ (Maintenance on Request) programmes that have led to cuts to maintenance crews in all of its countries.
Dina Feller, from the ITF LATAM Network, said: "This is what we have been warning the company about all along. It's policy of cuts and reorganisation will inevitably lead to problems. We are calling on the company to meet with us urgently so we can discuss what the technicians have reported."
The Teamsters union in the USA expressed solidarity with the LATAM Network.
"I am deeply concerned for passengers and flight crew on LAN and TAM flights," said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. "It is very important for workers to speak up publicly about conditions that could potentially affect flight safety."