LAN Airlines S.A. is an airline based in Santiago, Chile. 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 States, Canada, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
Its main hub is Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez 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 Chavez International Airport in Lima, and at Miami International Airport.
The airline was founded by Chilean Air Services Commander Arturo Merino Benitez (for whom the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport was named some years later), and began operations on March 5, 1929 as Linea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica. It took the name Linea Aerea 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.
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 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 Aerolineas 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 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 and Alaska 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.
In 2008 LAN was voted 3rd best airline in the world, and first airline in South America.
The LAN Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of December 2009):
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 TVs.
In late 2007 LAN Airlines announced that it was planning to acquire some 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 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 Paris-Charles de Gaulle.
The average LAN Airlines fleet age was 4.8 years old in september 2009 .
LANPASS is LAN's Frequent Flyer Program, created to reward customer loyalty. There are currently over two million 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:
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.
Lan Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines as of November 2007:
Mexicana de Aviacion
TAM Linhas Aereas
Incidents and accidents
On Febreaury 2, 2010 an Airbus A320 had to land in Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini intl airport because of problems with one of the landing gear hidraulic. The plane departed from Mendoza and its final destination was Aeroparque.
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 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 19, 1991,(Laprensaaustral.cl) a chartered LAN Chile BAe146-200 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.
LAN has been a common target for the weekly newspaper The Clinic due the ownership of Sebastian Pinera and his political interests. Also the Chilean impressionist Stefan Kramer uses LAN as part of the satiric imitation of Pinera.
In most Chilean movies and soap operas, a LAN airplane is almost always filmed in airport scenes.
Lan Airlines at YouTube
About LAN Airpasses
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article LAN Airlines