(Updates with comments from executives, details on fleet)

SANTIAGO/SAO PAULO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - LATAM Airlines on Thursday posted a 95% year-on-year fall in net profit in the fourth quarter to $84 million, as its operations stabilized after exiting bankruptcy in late 2022.

The sharp drop for the final three months of 2023 reflected a normalization for LATAM after it was boosted a year earlier by an $8 billion restructuring plan, finance chief Ramiro Alfonsin told reporters.

LATAM's passenger traffic, as measured in the metric of available seat kilometers (ASK), grew 14.7% in the quarter, just under 2019's growth rate.

The carrier, which currently operates a 333-plane fleet, plans to add eight narrow body planes in the year while shedding one wide body and a cargo aircraft.

LATAM's need for narrow body aircraft recently

put it in hot water

with Brazilian carrier Gol, which accused its competitor of trying to poach its planes as Gol undergoes bankruptcy proceedings.

"It's not news that we grew a lot in 2023 and will continue to seek growth in 2024," Brazil head Jerome Cadier told journalists. "We've been in constant contact with lessors and suppliers looking for narrow body planes."

LATAM will extend leases for some Airbus A319 and A320 planes this year which it had originally planned on retiring from the fleet, Alfonsin said.

The airline's adjusted EBITDAR - earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and restructuring or rent costs - increased in the quarter by 29.9% year-on-year to $675 million.

In December, LATAM projected record EBITDAR for this year of between $2.6 billion and $2.9 billion. The firm on Thursday maintained its estimates for 2024.

The Santiago-based carrier saw quarterly revenues rise 18.5% to $3.25 billion.

The group's net leverage closed out the year at 2.1 times adjusted EBITDAR, down from a multiple of 4.0 at the end of 2022. LATAM aims to bring that down to between 1.8 and 2.0 in the year. (Reporting by Kylie Madry, Fabian Cambero and Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Sonali Paul and Chris Reese)