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Peter Cerda:

So, let’s kick it off. And I’m going to just start off with what’s been in our life for the last year and a half almost with the crisis in terms of the challenges that the industry is facing, what you’re facing as CEO of Sky Airlines and what you’re living now. Just less than a week ago, the Chilean authorities basically closed off the country again with restrictions and that impacted your airline. So, what are you doing about it? Because it’s not the first time you faced a closure of borders or harsh restrictions, but this time it’s really causing a greater impact than it was in months past.

Jose Ignacio Dougnac:

Well, this time we have more experience dealing with these type of situations, but as you might expect, we didn’t expect this to happen at this point of time. We thought that with the vaccination program, things were going to go upside and not downside like they’re going now, but apparently it’s been quite typical countries vaccinating very fast their population and relaxing a little bit. Just a little bit too early before the vaccine actually takes place in the population. So, it’s been tough. As you know, last year was quite tough. In 2019, we moved 54% less passengers than in 2018. We were hit with the crisis in Chile and Peru, late March. So, we had a pretty good January and February in 2020, but late March the crisis started really developing in Chile and Peru. And that meant 54% less passengers, but on that bright side, the industry as a whole was 64% in terms of passengers. So, we are a little bit better than the industry average. And, of course, us being with a big domestic operation also helps us because domestic is recovering a little bit faster than international as you know.

Peter Cerda:

Jose, from your standpoint, 2020 obviously was a difficult year, not only for Sky and for the entire industry, you took over the helm at Sky during the pandemic. So, you didn’t have a honeymoon. You were thrown in right in the middle of the crisis when everything was being locked down. Not much time to learn your new position although you were the CFO of the company. What has this year taught you from transitioning from a CFO to CEO and taking the helm and having to navigate through the crisis up to now?

Jose Ignacio Dougnac:

Yeah. Well, actually, Peter, I was announced to be the new CEO on five days after that first case came to Chile. So, it didn’t take long before the crisis hit. And we were coming through a quite significant crisis in October 19, 2019 as well in Chile. But one of the things that you really prove in this period of crisis are the values of the company. You need to be able to set up priorities based on your values, and you need to really lead based on that. It’s been hard. It’s important to set up priorities we did. We set up safety, people, and sustainability as the top three priorities for managing the crisis. And we have made decisions based on that during that time. It’s very important to act quick, but also to act. With all this uncertainty, if you don’t have a clear priority to make decisions with, it’s going to be all over the place. So, we were able to set those up and we have been managing the crisis with a very clear path forward.

Peter Cerda:

Jose, one of the aspect… You mentioned this some time ago in another interview where you said there’s practically no airline in the world capable of getting out of this without any kind of help. Chile has always been a country that’s always been forward-thinking, very proactive, has permitted the industry to grow, but during the crisis, the Chilean government has not provided the financial support. At this point in time, what is your feeling about government support? Is it too late or it’s never too late and whatever the government can do to help the industry during this period of time would be welcome?

Jose Ignacio Dougnac:

It’s never too late. That’s important. The crisis has not finished yet, but we don’t expect financial support like you’ve seen in the US or in Europe, but we do expect some support in terms of working together with the industry in order to have a good come back from this crisis. We’ve been working side by side with the government in order, for example, to transport goods, transport vaccines. We’ve been transporting vaccines to all over the country and we’ve helped as an industry, not only Sky, the whole industry has helped moving the vaccines from one place to the other.

So, we are working together and we need to be able to work together in terms of finding the best possible solution for bringing up tourism within the country and also the airline industry. When I said that the… Sorry. When I said that the airlines needed support, I didn’t only mean government support. I mean support in general. We’ve had so much support from everybody, from our people, from our suppliers, from the leasing industry, the banking industry. Some of the government as well. So that’s what I meant when everybody in this industry will need support, not only from governments, but in general terms, from some or most of their stakeholders.

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