LAN Airlines

LAN Airlines

LAN Airlines S.A. is an airline based in Santiago, Chile. It is the principal Chilean airline and one of the largest in South America, with flights to Latin America, United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Its main hub is Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, Santiago, with hubs/focus cities at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires, Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil, Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, and at Miami International Airport in Miami.


The airline was founded by Chilean Army Air Services Commander Arturo Merino Benitez (who had the Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport named after him years later), and began operations on March 5, 1929 as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica. It took the name Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (LAN Chile) in 1932. In September 1989, the Chilean government privatized the carrier, selling a majority stake in the company to Icarosan and Scandinavian Airlines System.

The approval from the Chilean Anti-monopolies Board resulted in the acquisition of control of the country's second airline Ladeco on 11 August 1995. In October 1998 LanChile merged Fast Air with Ladeco. In March 2004 Lan Chile and its subsidiaries LAN Peru, LAN Ecuador, LAN Dominicana and LANExpress became unified under the single LAN brand, instead of prior Linea Aerea Nacional. On 17 June 2004 LAN Chile changed its formal name to LAN Airlines (which was said to mean Latin American Network Airlines, even though the airline says LAN is no longer an abbreviation now) as part of this re-branding process. In mid-2005 LAN opened its subsidiary LAN Argentina in Argentina and operates national and international flights from Buenos Aires, being the third largest local operator behind Aerolíneas Argentinas and Austral. This subsidiary is also under the single LAN brand.

LAN Airlines has the following subsidiaries and shareholdings: LAN Cargo (99.4%), LANExpress (99.4%), ABSA - Aerolinhas Brasileiras (73.3%), LAN Peru (70%), LAN Dominicana (49%), LAN Ecuador (45%), LAN Argentina (49%), MasAir (39.5%) and Florida West International Airways (25%). It also has 11,173 employees.

LAN codeshares with American Airlines to U.S. destinations, British Airways and Iberia to European destinations, to Brazilian internal destinations with Tam Linhas Aereas, to Asian destinations with Korean Air, and some destinations in Australia and New Zealand with Qantas.

As of August 1 2006, LAN Airlines merged first and business classes of service into a single class, named Premium Business.




The LAN Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of 12 July 2008) :
LAN Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(Premium Business/Tourist)
Routes Notes
Airbus A318 12 (3 orders) 118 (118) Domestic routes First airline to operate the A318 with PW6000 engines
Airbus A319 15 (3 orders) 144 (144) Medium haul routes
South and Latin America
Airbus A320-200 19
156 (16/120) Medium haul routes
South and Latin America
Airbus A340-300 5 271 Long haul routes
Australia, Europe and New Zealand
Exit from service: 2012
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Boeing 767-300ER 23
(2 orders)
Medium-long haul routes
Europe, South America and North America
Exit from service: 2012-2016
Replacement aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Boeing 787-8 (18 orders) Long haul routes Deliveries: 2011-2016
Boeing 787-9 (14 orders)
(6 leased)
Long haul routes Deliveries: 2011-2016

Also on order are 20 Airbus A318s, on which LAN became the launch customer for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine. But the order was modified to 15 Airbus A319 due to problems caused by the small cargo area and mechanical problems with the turbines. Its A319 & A320s are equipped with International Aero Engines V2500s. Lan Airlines has recently renovated its Boeing's 767s, adding amenities like flat bed seats in premium business class offering 180 degrees of recline, and new industry leading personal TV's. In late 2007 LAN Airlines announced that it was planning to acquire some aircraft of the Boeing 777 family due to problems with its Airbus A340-300's. As of May 2008, LAN does not fly the Boeing 737-200 anymore: aircraft which was replaced by aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.

The average LAN Airlines fleet age was 5.6 years old in August 2008

Previously operated


LANPASS is LAN's Frequent Flyer Program, created to reward customer loyalty. There are currently over a million members in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and the United States who enjoy LANPASS benefits. Every year, over 50,000 LANPASS members fly for free. LAN's frequent flyer categories are: Normal, Premium, Premium Business and Comodoro.

South America AirPass

This pass allows you to visit multiple South American destinations - by way of LAN's extensive South American network - at discounted rates. A passenger can choose from the more than 49 South American destinations that make up LAN's network. South America Airpass works via the purchase of individual one-way coupons for flights within South America. The value of these coupons is determined by two factors: 1. Whether you reach South America with LAN or with a Oneworld alliance member. 2. The distance between the point of departure and the destination.

Codeshare agreements

Lan Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of July 2006:

Incidents and accidents

  • On July 5, 2008, LAN Airlines flight 533 was involved in a near miss incident at New York's JFK airport. The aircraft, bound for Santiago, Chile, was nearly struck after take off by Cayman Airways flight 792. The Cayman aircraft, arriving at JFK from the Cayman Islands, performed a go-around after a missed landing on a perpendicular runway. Both aircraft performed steep axial tilts to avoid one another, under the control tower's direction. The FAA's statement on this incident is currently unclear, with some reports denying the incident ever happened.
  • On March 28, 2007, LAN Airlines Flight 801 traveling between Santiago and Auckland was involved in a near miss incident with a meteor while over the Pacific Ocean. It is estimated that the flaming object passed within five nautical miles of the aircraft, while the crew could hear the objects breaking the sound barrier. While it was initially thought the object was an old Russian satellite re-entering the atmosphere, that explanation was subsequently ruled out by NASA.
  • On February 20, 1991, a chartered LAN Chile BAe146-200 (registered as CC-CET, formerly N403XV) overran the runway on landing at Puerto Williams in southern Chile and sank in the nearby waters. Twenty of the 66 passengers died.
  • On August 4, 1987, a B737-200, while on the approach at Calama/El Loa airport, landed short of the displaced threshold of runway 27. The nosegear collapsed and the aircraft broke in two. A fire broke out 30 minutes later and destroyed the aircraft. The threshold was displaced by 880m due to construction work. There was 1 fatality.
  • August 3, 1978, Buenos Aires/Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport: a Boeing 707 was approaching runway 11 in fog when it struck trees in a gentle descent, some 2500m short of the runway threshold and 300m out of line with the runway centreline.
  • May 25, 1972, one hour and 18 minutes after take-off from Panama City a homemade pipe bomb exploded in the ice water fountain service compartment of a B727. A rapid decompression followed. A successful emergency landing was carried out at Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • December 5, 1969, Puerto-Montt/El Tepual airport, a DC-3 became airborne after a 500m run and climbed to 10m when it banked right. The aircraft lost height and the wing struck the ground; a wheels-up landing was made.


External links

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