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LATAM hopes to return grounded 787s to service by year-end

LATAM Airlines Group expects to have its entire Boeing 787 fleet back in service by year-end, after it was forced to ground more than half of its 787s in the second quarter due to engine issues.

The airline currently has six 787s on the ground, down from a peak of 13 aircraft in June, LATAM chief financial officer Ramiro Alfonsin said earlier today on an earnings call. The six aircraft are awaiting preventive engine maintenance from Rolls-Royce, says LATAM, which has a total fleet of 24 787s.

LATAM hopes to have no aircraft on the ground by year-end, says Alfonsin, adding that the 787 grounding was a "most critical situation" for the airline during the second quarter.

Like other Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 operators worldwide, LATAM has suffered from 787 disruptions for months. The airline has sought to mitigate this with leased aircraft and schedule changes.

LATAM returned one wet-leased aircraft in July, and plans to return two of the six remaining leased aircraft in September. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows the airline returned a Boeing 747 to Spain's Wamos Air in July, and is scheduled to return two Airbus A330-200s to Wamos in September.

LATAM leased two Boeing 777-200s from Boeing Capital in July, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

The airline's Trent 1000 troubles mirror that of other operators around the world. Colombia's Avianca said earlier this month that two of its 12 787s remain grounded and are awaiting engine inspections.

Story was amended with updated information on LATAM's leased aircraft

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