SAO PAULO, May 16 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines will increase the frequency of seven of its international routes connecting Brazil to the United States and countries in Europe and Africa, it said on Thursday.

The move by Chile-based LATAM, whose local unit is currently Brazil's No. 1 carrier in international operations by market share, comes as rival Air France KLM also announced it would add a new route to the South American nation.

Carriers have been enjoying healthy demand for air travel in Latin America's largest economy and expressed optimism about the Brazilian market, even as they struggle to add capacity during an ongoing aircraft shortage.

LATAM said starting Oct. 27, it will increase flights from Sao Paulo to Orlando, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Milan, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon by 38% when compared to the same period a year ago.

All flights will be operated by widebody aircraft seating up to 410 passengers, LATAM said, such as the Boeing 777. The company's long-haul fleet also includes the Boeing 787.

The South American airline has been growing since its exit in late 2022 from a bankruptcy process triggered by a drop in traffic related to the coronavirus pandemic. It expects to post record core earnings in 2024 backed by increased demand.

Earlier on Thursday, Air France KLM said it would also bump up its operations in Brazil with a new flight connecting Paris and Salvador three times a week from late October.

"Brazil is one of the countries that received the most investments from Air France in recent months," the carrier's South America head Manuel Flahault said, adding the flights will be operated by Airbus A350 planes.

With the move, Air France KLM will get back to the number of weekly flights it had in Brazil before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 44 operations a week also serving Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza and Belem.

Air France has a commercial partnership with Brazilian airline Gol in the country. (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo Editing by Bill Berkrot)