|Founded||March 5, 1929 (as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica)
June 17, 2005 (as LAN Airlines)
May 5, 2016 (as LATAM Chile)
|Hubs||Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||LATAM Pass|
|Destinations||66 (mainline only)|
|Company slogan||Juntos, más lejos.
|Parent company||LATAM Airlines Group|
|Headquarters||Las Condes, Santiago, Chile|
|Revenue||US$ 5.7 billion (2011)|
|Net income||US$ 320.2 million (2011)|
LATAM Airlines, formerly LAN Airlines S.A., is an airline based in Santiago, Chile, and is one of the founders of LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's largest airline holding company. The main hub is Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago, Chile, with secondary hubs in El Dorado (Bogotá), Jorge Chávez (Lima), José Joaquín de Olmedo (Guayaquil) and Jorge Newbery (Buenos Aires) airports.
LAN Airlines was the flag carrier of Chile until its privatization in the 1990s, is the predominant airline in Chile and Peru, and the second largest carrier in Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador, through its local subsidiaries. LAN is one of the largest airlines in Latin America, serving Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld airline alliance since 2000.
LATAM Airlines Group was formed after the takeover by LAN of Brazilian TAM Airlines, which was completed on June 22, 2012. In August 2015, it was announced that the two airlines would fully rebrand as LATAM, with one livery to be applied on all aircraft by 2018. Currently, LAN and TAM continue to work as separate companies, under a common executive management. LATAM Airlines Group is currently the largest airline conglomerate in Latin America.
- 1 History
- 2 Corporate affairs
- 3 Destinations
- 4 Fleet
- 5 LATAM Pass
- 6 Lounges
- 7 South America AirPass
- 8 Incidents and accidents
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The airline was founded by Chilean Air Force Commodore Arturo Merino Benítez (after whom Santiago International Airport is named), and began operations on March 5, 1929 as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica (English: Postal Air Line Santiago-Arica), under the government of President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo. In 1932 It was rebranded as Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (In English: National Air Line of Chile), using the acronym LAN-Chile as commercial name. LAN-Chile's first fleet consisted of de Havilland Moth planes.
Merino Benitez was a strong defender of Chilean carriers exclusivity on domestic routes, differing from most Latin American countries which easily granted authorization on domestic flights to US-based Panagra, influenced by the propaganda made by Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing. Also because of this reason, US-built airplanes became more difficult to incorporate to LAN's fleet until the beginning of WWII. In 1936, 2 French Potez 560 airplanes were purchased while in 1938, 4 German Junkers Ju 86Bs were incorporated to the fleet. During that same year, a joint cooperation agreement was established with Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano and the Peruvian carrier Faucett. Another agreement with Lufthansa was signed for flights to & from Europe and America's Atlantic coast. 
In 1940, given the restrictions imposed during WWII on access to spare parts for the Junker's BMW engines, LAN-Chile had to replace them for Lockheed Electra 10-A planes, adding in 1941 further Lockheed Lodestar C-60 and Douglas DC-3 in 1945.
Post-war and international service expansion
On August 23, 1945, LAN-Chile became a member of the newly formed IATA. In October 1946, it started international service to Buenos Aires at Morón Airport and in 1947 to Punta Arenas, Chile's most distant continental destination.
In December 1954, LAN-Chile made its first commercial flight to Lima, Perú. On December 22, 1956 a LAN-Chile Douglas DC-6 made the world's first commercial flight over Antarctica. Since then, all LAN's DC-6 fleet had painted on their fuselage "Primeros sobre la Antártica (First over Antarctica)", using this same aircraft type for its first commercial service to Miami International Airport in 1958.
LAN-Chile entered the jet era in 1963, purchasing three French Sud Aviation Caravelle VI-R, which initially flew to Miami, Guayaquil, Lima, Panama City and within Chile to Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt and Antofagasta.
In 1966, LAN-Chile purchased from Lufthansa its first Boeing 707, in exchange for flying rights in the Lima-Santiago route. With this aircraft model, the company developed new long haul routes to the USA, Oceania and Europe. LAN-Chile started on April 15, 1967, the route Santiago-John F. Kennedy International Airport and Santiago-Easter Island on April 8. In October 1967 a LAN-Chile Sud Aviation Caravelle made the first ILS landing in South America at Lima's Jorge Chávez International Airport. On January 16, 1968, the Santiago-Easter Island flight was extended to Papeete-Faa'a International Airport, in Tahiti, French Polynesia. On September 4, 1974, this route was extended to Fiji.
In 1969, LAN-Chile expanded its destinations to Rio de Janeiro, Asunción and Cali with new Boeing 727s. In 1970, with Boeing 707s LAN-Chile opened its first transatlantic routes to Madrid–Barajas Airport, Frankfurt Airport and Paris-Orly.
Since its inception and until 1970 the airline had its headquarters, main hub and maintenance center at Los Cerrillos Airport (ICAO: SCTI; IATA: ULC), in South-West Santiago. The restrictions imposed by the growing metropolitan area of Santiago and the need for modern, jet-era airport facilities that could safely accommodate both domestic and intercontinental flights, drove the need to relocate the Chilean capital's principal airport from Los Cerrillos in the denser southwest metropolitan region of Santiago to the more rural northwest metropolitan area. For this reason, Santiago International Airport in Pudahuel was built between 1961 and 1967, fully moving LAN-Chile's flights to this new airport in 1970.
On February 10, 1974, A LAN Chile Boeing 707 flown by captain Jorge Jarpa Reyes made the world's first transpolar non-stop flight between South America (Punta Arenas Airport) and Australia (Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport).
In 1980, the company replaced its Boeing 727s with 737-200 Advanced on its domestic routes. In addition, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, LAN Chile's first wide body jets, were added for use on routes to Los Angeles, Miami and New York. That same year, the maintenance facilitites were relocated from Los Cerrillos to Arturo Merino Benitez Airport.
In 1985, LAN-Chile implemented a program of flights around the world called Cruceros del Aire (“Air Cruises”), pioneers and unique in Latin America. The initial version included two flights per year (April 26 and September 26) on a Boeing 707 named Three Oceans because it crossed the Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific oceans, visiting 18 different places. The aircraft was specially prepared for these flights. It had 80 seats in first class, thus providing passengers with ample room for their comfort. Eighty tourists were selected for a 31-day tour that included visits to the main cities of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Such flights were made until 1989, marketed according to their route under various names such as "Around the World", "Three Oceans", "Three Continents", “Mediterranean","East-West China", etc.
In June 1986, Boeing 767-200ERs replaced the DC-10 fleet, with a new route to Montréal–Mirabel International Airport. In 1988, LAN Chile started construction of its Maintenance Center at Santiago Airport and added a Boeing 747-100 on lease from Aer Lingus to its fleet during the summer season for its US flights.
Privatization and internationalization
In September 1989, the Chilean government privatized the carrier, selling a majority stake in the company to Icarosan and Scandinavian Airlines (49%), which subsequently sold its stake a few years later to local investors. Since 1994, major shareholders have been the Cueto Family and businessman Sebastián Piñera (until 2010), who sold his shares when taking office as President of the Republic of Chile.
The approval from the Chilean Anti-Trust Authority resulted in the acquisition of the country's second largest airline Ladeco on August 11, 1995. In October 1998, Lan Chile merged its cargo subsidiary Fast Air Carrier with Ladeco, forming LAN Express.
In 1998 LAN Airlines established a joint venture with Lufthansa called LLTT (Lufthansa-LAN Technical Training S.A.) with the aim to satisfy the needs for aircraft maintenance training in Latin America. LLTT is based at LAN's hangars in Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez Airport. LLTT is the only A320 Maintenance Simulator (CMOS) training provider in Latin America.
In March 2004, Lan Chile and its subsidiaries, LAN Perú, LAN Ecuador, LAN Dominicana and LAN Express, became unified under the unique LAN brand and livery, eliminating each airline country name on the brands. On June 17, 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 acronym) as part of this re-branding and internationalization process; although, when founded in 1929, LAN originally meant "Línea Aérea Nacional" (National Airline).
In mid-2005, LAN opened its subsidiary LAN Argentina in Argentina and operates national and international flights from Buenos Aires, and is the third largest local operator behind Aerolíneas Argentinas and Austral. This subsidiary is also under the single LAN brand.
As of August 1, 2006, LAN Airlines merged first and business classes of service into a single class, named Premium Business.
LATAM Airlines Group
On August 13, 2010, LAN signed a non-binding agreement with Brazilian airline TAM Airlines to merge, and form the LATAM Airlines Group. The merger was completed on June 22, 2012. The Administrative Council of Economic Defense of Brazil (“CADE”) and the Tribunal de Defensa de la Libre Competencia (Chilean Court at Law for Antitrust) (“TDLC”) approved the merger subject to mitigation measures. The airlines have to surrender four daily São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport slot pairs to other airlines willing to fly the Santiago-São Paulo route, to give up membership in either Star Alliance (of which TAM Airlines was a member) or Oneworld, and to interline deals with other airlines that operate selected routes, among other provisions. 
The airline has its headquarters on the 20th floor of the 5711 Avenida Presidente Riesco Building in Las Condes, Santiago Province. Previously its headquarters were in Estado 10 in downtown Santiago de Chile.
LATAM Airlines operates in 31 international, 17 domestic (Chile), 5 seasonal and 4 marketed destinations in 21 countries. When the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner it will start flights to Washington D.C. and London-Heathrow. It is also considering starting flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Atlanta, Barcelona (starting in Dec. 2016), Milan, Zurich, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. With the delivery of more Airbus A319s, Airbus A320s and new deliveries of the Airbus A321, it will start new destinations in South America; it has considered Panama, San Jose de Costa Rica, Curitiba, Asunción, Manaus, Rosario, Cuzco and others. LATAM Airlines was a popular choice for surfers traveling to South America because of their policy of not charging extra baggage fees but starting December 19, 2016 they changed their policy and are now charging US$200 per way for a surfboard bag of up to three boards.
LATAM Chile codeshares with the following airlines:
The LATAM Chile fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of August 2017):
|Airbus A320neo||—||20||TBA||Deliveries October 2017 – 2020|
|Airbus A321neo||—||5||TBA||Deliveries to start September 2018|
LAN became the launch customer for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the Airbus A318. Its Airbus A319s and Airbus A320s are equipped with International Aero Engines V2500s. Lan Airlines has recently renovated its Boeing 767s, adding amenities like flat bed seats in Premium Business class, which offers 180 degrees of recline, and new touch screen personal TVs with on-demand content.
In May 2008, LAN Airlines 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 767 family, LAN will 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 Rome-Fiumicino. In 2011, LAN ordered 10 A318s but has since sold these to Avianca Brasil, to purchase another 128 airliners from the A320 family and 1 more order of A340-300. LAN Airlines is the American launch customer for the Sharklets for its A320 fleet.
In 2012, LAN Airlines became the launch customer in the Americas of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
LATAM Chile had also operated these following aircraft since it started services on the Santiago-Ovalle, Copiapó-Antofagasta-Iquique-Arica Route with the de Havilland Gipsy Moth carrying mail and 2 passengers, 1929.
- Airbus A318 - Retired since August 2013, For Domestic Route, 2008, Replacement Airbus A320 family
- Airbus A340-313E - Retired in April 2015, replaced by Boeing 787
- BAe 146–200 – Domestic route expansion, 1990
- Boeing 707-320 – First scheduled flight to Frankfurt (Via Paris, Madrid and São Paulo), 1968
- Boeing 727-100 – Replaced the Sud Aviation Caravelle and Douglas DC-4
- Boeing 737-200 – Last aircraft retired May 2008, Replacement Airbus A320 family
- Boeing 747-100 – First scheduled flight to Los Angeles, 1979
- Boeing 757-200
- Boeing 767-200ER – Replaced the McDonnell Douglas DC-10, 1989
- Convair 440 – Douglas DC-3 replacement, 1952
- De Havilland DHC-6
- de Havilland Gipsy Moth
- De Havilland Dove DH-104
- Douglas DC-3 – Opened the flights to Buenos Aires, La Paz and Lima, 1945
- Douglas DC-6 – First long-haul flight to Miami (Via Lima and Panamá), 1954
- Ford 5 AT-C – Santiago – Mendoza Route, 1934
- Hawker Siddeley HS 748
- Lockheed Electra L-10A
- Lockheed C-60
- Martin 2-0-2
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10 – Boeing 707 replacement, 1979
- Sud Aviation Caravelle – First long-haul flight to New York (Via Lima, Bogotá and Montego Bay), 1961
LAN Airlines created the LANPASS frequent flyer program to reward customer loyalty. There are currently over four million members. Every year, over 250,000 LANPASS members fly for free. LANPASS members earn kilometres 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 Elite membership categories:
- Premium (Oneworld Ruby)
- Premium Silver (Oneworld Sapphire)
- Comodoro (Oneworld Emerald)
- Comodoro Black
On 5 May 2016, LANPASS became known as LATAM Pass, once LAN Airlines fully transitioned into LATAM Airlines.
LATAM Airlines operates VIP passenger lounges at the following airports:
- Mistral Lounge at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez Airport, in Santiago de Chile
- Neruda Lounge at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez Airport, in Santiago de Chile
- Ezeiza International Airport, in Buenos Aires, Argentina
- El Dorado International Airport, in Bogotá, Colombia
- Miami International Airport
- São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport
These lounges are accessible by passengers traveling onboard LATAM First Class, Premium Business, Business and Premium Economy, as well as senior members of the LATAM PASS program (Comodoro, Premium Silver levels), TAM Fidelidade program (Black, Vermelho Plus, Vermelho) and oneworld respective categories (Emerald, Sapphire).
South America AirPass
The "South America AirPass" describes an airfare that allows passengers residing outside of South America to purchase individual, one-way coupon for flights between any of the South American destinations that make up LAN's network, at a price determined by two factors:
- Whether the passenger reaches South America with LAN or with another Oneworld alliance member.
- 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.
Incidents and accidents
- On April 3, 1961, LAN Chile Flight 210, a Douglas C-47A registered as CC-CLD, on a scheduled domestic passenger flight from Temuco Airport (now Maquehue Airport, later La Araucania Airport) to Santiago, crashed into a hillside due to inclement weather near La Gotera Hill, Chile. On board were many members of the Chilean association football club C.D. Green Cross. All four crew members and all twenty passengers on board were killed.
- On February 6, 1965 a Douglas DC-6, operating LAN Chile Flight 107 from Santiago to Ezeiza, Argentina, flew into a mountain near the San José Volcano in the Las Melosas area of the Andes shortly after takeoff. All of the 87 passengers and crew on board died in what is as of 2012 the worst aircraft accident in Chile.
- On April 28, 1969 LAN Chile Flight 160 crashed short of runway at Colina, Chile. None of the 60 passengers and crew were injured in the accident.
- On December 5, 1969, a Douglas C-47A registration CC-CBY, crashed shortly after takeoff from El Tepual Airport, Puerto Montt. The aircraft was operating a cargo flight; all three people on board survived.
- On May 25, 1972, a Boeing 727-100 registration CC-CAG, made an emergency landing at Sir Donald Sangster International Airport after a pipe bomb exploded on board. The aircraft was operating a passenger flight from Tocumen International Airport to Miami International Airport; there were no fatalities or injuries.
- On August 3, 1978, a Boeing 707 registered as CC-CCX was approaching Ministro Pistarini International Airport in thick fog when it struck trees in a gentle descent, some 2500 metres short of the runway threshold and 300 metres out of line with the runway centreline. All 63 people on board the aircraft survived the accident.
- On August 4, 1987, a Boeing 737-200, while on the approach at 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 one fatality.
- On February 19, 1991, a chartered BAe 146–200 operating LAN Chile Flight 1069, overran the runway on landing at Puerto Williams in southern Chile and sank in the nearby waters. Of the 73 people aboard, 20 perished.
- On May 18, 2013, an Airbus A340, departing for Sydney from Auckland Airport lined-up on what was thought to be the centre line of the runway. Instead, it was actually the lights on the edge of the runway & the crew took off without noticing it. The damage wasn’t discovered until a runway inspection was made.
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