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The headquarters of LAN
LAN Airlines S.A. is an airline based in Santiago, Chilemarker. As the principal Chilean airline, it is also Chile's flag carrier. LAN is one of the largest airlines in Latin America, with flights to Latin America, United Statesmarker, Canadamarker, the Caribbeanmarker, Oceania, and Europe. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Its main hub is Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airportmarker, Santiago, with hubs/focus cities at Ministro Pistarini International Airportmarker in Buenos Airesmarker, Mariscal Sucre International Airportmarker in Quitomarker, Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airportmarker in Guayaquilmarker, Jorge Chávez International Airportmarker in Limamarker, and at Miami International Airportmarker in Miamimarker.


The airline was founded by Chileanmarker Army Air Services Commander Arturo Merino Benitez (for whom the Arturo Merino Benítez International Airportmarker was named some 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.

LAN Chile Boeing 767 in 1994
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 Perú, 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 Airesmarker, 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%), LAN Express (99.4%), ABSA - Aerolinhas Brasileiras (73.3%), LAN Perú (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 and Alaska Airlines to U.S.marker destinations, British Airways and Iberia to European destinations, to Brazilian internal destinations with TAM Linhas Aéreas, 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.

In 2008 LAN was voted 3rd best airline in the world, and first airline in South America.


Cargo Branches



The LAN Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of september 2009):
LAN Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Haul
Airbus A318-100 19 1 126 Short Haul
Airbus A319-100 20 6 144 Short/Medium Haul
Airbus A320-200 27 7 156/169 Short/Medium Haul
Airbus A340-300 5 6 260 Long Haul
Boeing 767-300ER 25 4 221 Medium/Long Haul
Boeing 777F 2 1 Cargo Cargo
Boeing 787-8 0 18 TBA Long Haul
Boeing 787-9 0 14 TBA Long Haul

LAN and LANEXPRESS jets at Santiago, Chile (SCL)

LAN became the launch customer for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the Airbus A318. 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 freighters for its LAN Cargo fleet.As of May 2008, LAN Airlines has retired its last 737-200 from service; the 737-200 was replaced by the Airbus A318. In addition to its A320's family aircraft and Boeing 777 family LAN is also planning to buy the new Boeing 787 for its long haul routes such as Auckland, Sydney and European routes replacing its Airbus A340-300s. With this new aircraft it plans to open new routes like London-Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

The average LAN Airlines fleet age was 6.7 years old in september 2009 .


LANPASS is LAN's Frequent Flyer Program, created to reward customer loyalty. There are currently over two millions members in Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador,Canada and the United States. Every year, over 110,000 LANPASS members fly for free. LANPASS members earn kilometers every time they fly with LAN, a oneworld alliance member, a LANPASS-affiliated airline or by using the services of any LANPASS-associated business around the world.

The LANPASS Program has four membership categories:
  • Premium (Oneworld Ruby)
  • Premium Silver (Oneworld Sapphire)
  • Commodore (Oneworld Emerald)

South America AirPass

The term "South America AirPass" describes an airfare that allows passengers residing outside South America to purchase individual one-way coupons for flights between any of the more than 49 South American destinations that make up LAN's at a price which is determined by two factors:
  1. Whether the passenger reaches South America with LAN or with another Oneworld alliance member.
  2. The distance between the point of departure and the destination.

The purchase of the AirPass coupons must be made at the time intercontinental travel is purchased and outside South America.

Codeshare agreements

Lan Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of November 2007:

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.

  • On March 28, 2007, LAN Airlines Flight 801 traveling between Santiagomarker and Aucklandmarker 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 NASAmarker.

  • On February 19, 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.

Popular culture

  • LAN has been a common target for the weekly newspaper The Clinic due the ownership of Sebastián Piñera and his political interests. Also the Chilean imitator Stefan Kramer uses LAN as part of the satiric imitation of Piñera.
  • In most Chilean movies and soap operas, a LAN airplane is almost always filmed in airport scenes.


  1. Quarterly Financial Filings (FECU) (September/2006)
  2. Airbus Press Release
  3. Fleet age LAN Airlines - Airfleets
  4. Terms and Conditions Of the LANPASS frequent flyer program
  5. LAN Oneworld Tier Status
  6. Aviation Photos: E2061
  7. Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 02201991

External links

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