|Founded||March 5, 1929 (as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica)|
June 17, 2005 (as LAN Airlines)
May 5, 2016 (as LATAM Chile)
|Hubs||Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||LATAM Pass|
|Alliance||Oneworld (until May 1, 2020)|
|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. and LAN-Chile, 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 (Santiago), with secondary hubs in El Dorado (Bogotá), Jorge Chávez (Lima), José Joaquín de Olmedo (Guayaquil), Jorge Newbery (Buenos Aires) and Mariscal Sucre (Quito) 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 the largest airline in Latin America, serving Latin America, Northern America, the Caribbean, Oceania, Asia and Europe. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld airline alliance from 2000 to 2020.
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, LATAM Chile and LATAM Brazil continue to work as separate companies, under LATAM Airlines Group acting as the executive management. LATAM Airlines Group is currently the largest airline conglomerate in Latin America.
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 (English: National Air Line of Chile), using the acronym LAN-Chile as its 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 into the fleet. During that same year, a 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.
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 its first Boeing 707 from Lufthansa, in exchange for flying rights in the Lima-Santiago route. With this aircraft model, the company developed new long haul routes to the US, 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 using a Douglas DC-6B propliner. The airline then introduced Boeing 707 jet service on the Santiago - Easter Island - Papeete, Tahiti route in April 1970. 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 MadridBarajas 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 south-west 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. Also, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30s, 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 facilities 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 MontréalMirabel 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.
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.
Since May 5, 2016, LAN Airlines has been operating as LATAM Chile. The airline opened many routes during 2017, one of them being the longest flight in their history: Santiago to Melbourne, which started operating October 5 of that year.
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 LAN brand.
As of August 1, 2006, LAN Airlines merged first and business classes of service into a single class, named Premium Business.
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 PauloGuarulhos 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.
During the first half of 2018 the airline was struggling due to the Rolls Royce engines on their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, having grounded at least six of them since February 2018. In April 2018, their domestic subsidiary LAN Express experienced a major worker strike. This has caused several economic losses for the airline. Later that same year they started recovering from that and are expecting to resume 787 deliveries by 2019.
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 Chile operates in 31 international, 17 domestic (Chile), 5 seasonal and 4 marketed destinations in 21 countries. With the delivery of more Airbus A320s and 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 Chile 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.
On October 5, 2017, LATAM Chile inaugurated their direct route between Santiago and Melbourne, a 15 hours (westbound) and 11,300 kilometres (6,100 nmi) flight. It is currently the southernmost commercial point-to-point flight. The flight's great circle passes south of the Antarctic Circle, at a distance of approx 800 km off the Antarctic mainland. The flight numbers are LA805 (westbound) and LA804 (eastbound).
In November 2017 the company announced the opening of a direct air route to the continent of Asia. The route operates with a flight departing from Santiago, Chile make a stop in Sao Paulo, Brazil and from there it proceeds a direct flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. The flights are operated three times a week starting from December 2018. The flights are executed with the company's new Boeing 787 aircraft. This is the second air route operated by a South-American company from South America to Asia.
LATAM Chile codeshares with the following airlines:
|Airbus A321neo||—||10||TBA||Deliveries to begin in 2020.|
LATAM Chile became the launch customer for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the Airbus A318. Its Airbus A319s and Airbus A320s are equipped with the IAE V2500s or CFM56s engines. LATAM Chile 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, LATAM Chile retired its last 737-200 from service; the 737-200 was replaced by the Airbus A320s. In addition to its A320 family aircraft and Boeing 767 family, LATAM Chile bought the Boeing 787 for its long haul routes such as Auckland, Sydney and European routes, replacing its Airbus A340-300s, that left the fleet in April 2015. With this new aircraft, they plan to open new routes like Chicago O'Hare and Rome-Fiumicino. In 2011, LATAM Chile 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. That year the airline placed orders for more Airbus A320 and brand new Airbus A321 aircraft. LATAM Chile is the American launch customer for the Sharklets for its A320 fleet.
In 2012, LATAM Chile became the launch customer in the Americas of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
In November 23, 2014, the airline received their first Airbus A321 aircraft. This has been the domestic flagship of the airline ever since.
In April 17, 2015, the airline officially retired the Airbus A340-300 from their fleet, being the last one CC-CQA.
In December 2017 the airline received their very first Airbus A320neo aircraft, however, months later these have been grounded due to an issue with the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines. LATAM Chile faced many problems caused by both groundings of A320neo and Boeing 787 aircraft during 2018, however later that year they started recovering from that.
LATAM Chile had also operated these following aircraft since it started services on the Santiago-Ovalle, Copiapó-Antofagasta-Iquique-Arica route with a de Havilland Gipsy Moth in 1929.
|Airbus A318-100||2007||2013||Airbus A320 family||Used on domestic routes|
|Airbus A340-300||2000||2015||Boeing 787-9|
|Boeing 707-320||1967||1980||McDonnell Douglas DC-10||Operated first scheduled international flight to Frankfurt.|
(Via ParisOrly, Madrid and São Paulo)
|Boeing 727-100||1968||1980||Boeing 737-200|
|Boeing 737-200||1980||2008||Airbus A320 family|
|Boeing 747-100||1989||1990||Boeing 767-200ER|
|Boeing 767-200ER||1986||1997||Airbus A340-300|
|Boeing 777-200ER||2018||2019||Boeing 787-9|
|British Aerospace 146200||1990||1997||Airbus A318-100|
|Convair 440||1960||1968||Boeing 727-100|
|de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||1955||Unknown||Unknown|
|de Havilland DH.60 Moth||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|de Havilland DH.104 Dove||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown|
|Douglas DC-3||1946||1960||Convair 440|
|Douglas DC-6||1956||1967||Boeing 707-320||Operated first long-haul flight to Miami|
(Via Lima and Panama City)
|Ford 5 AT-C||1930||1934||Douglas DC-3|
|Hawker Siddeley HS 748||1964||Unknown||Unknown|
|Lockheed Model 10 Electra||1941||Unknown||Unknown|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30||1980||1986||Boeing 747-100|
|Sud Aviation Caravelle||1964||1968||Boeing 727-100||Operated first long-haul flight to New York City|
(Via Lima, Bogotá and Montego Bay)
LATAM Chile 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 miles every time they fly with LATAM Chile, 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:
On May 5, 2016, LANPASS became known as LATAM Pass, once LAN Airlines fully transitioned into LATAM Chile.
LATAM Airlines operates VIP passenger lounges at the following airports:
These lounges are accessible for passengers travelling in LATAM First Class, Premium Business, Business and Premium Economy, as well as senior members of the LATAM PASS program (Black, Platinum levels), TAM Fidelidade program (Black, Vermelho Plus, Vermelho) and Oneworld respective categories (Emerald, Sapphire).
The new and renovated LATAM Chile Passenger lounges are designed by Chilean architect Mathias Klotz and Parisian Studio Putman Olivia Putman.
The "South America AirPass" describes an airfare that allows passengers residing outside of South America to purchase an 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:
The purchase of the AirPass coupons must be made at the time intercontinental travel is purchased and outside South America.
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