LAN Colombia postpones profitability until 4Q 2013

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LAN Colombia has delayed the completion of its financial recovery by at least nine months to the fourth quarter of 2013.

"This year it's going to be more of a loss," says Hernan Pasman, chief executive of LAN Colombia.

Chilean airline LAN acquired the formerly-branded airline AIRES in 2010, which re-launched operations as LAN Colombia on 3 December 2011. The loss-making airline was expected turn profitable under LAN's ownership by the second half of this year.

But Pasman says that his division of the LATAM airlines group will continue making losses until at least the end of next year.

"We thought we were able to turn around the company this year," Pasman says. "It's going to take a little longer than expected. We think we might be able to turn around the company by 2013."

Pasman did not cite any reasons for the delay of the financial turn-around during the conference call.

Although the company's financial progress is slowed, LAN Colombia is making traction in other areas, such as operations.

Pasman says that LAN Colombia has improved on-time performance to 80%, or nearly twice its rating as AIRES.

"We are on LAN's standards in terms of safety as well," he says.