LATAM Airlines
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded March 5, 1929 (as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica)
June 17, 2005 (as LAN Airlines)
May 5, 2016 (as LATAM)
Hubs Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program LATAM Pass
Airport lounge VIP Lounge Neruda
Alliance Oneworld
Fleet size 150 (mainline only)
Destinations 66 (mainline only)
Company slogan LATAM y tú. Juntos, más lejos.
(LATAM and you. Together, further.)
Parent company LATAM Airlines Group
Headquarters Las Condes, Santiago, Chile
Key people
Revenue Increase US$ 5.7 billion (2011)
Net income Decrease 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, 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.[1] 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.[2][3] 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.


Early years

DH 60G Gipsy Moths in service with LAN-Chile, 1933

The airline was founded by Chilean Air Force Commodore Arturo Merino Benitez (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.[4]

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.[5] 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. [5]

LAN-Chile Douglas DC-3 added to the fleet in 1945

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

A LAN-Chile Boeing 707 at Paris-Orly Airport in 1981

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.[9] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.

LAN Chile Boeing 727 at Pudahuel Airport Santiago in 1972

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).[11]

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.[12]

Lan Chile's Boeing 767 at Frankfurt (1994)

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

LAN's logo (2004-2016)

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.[13] LLTT is the only A320 Maintenance Simulator (CMOS) training provider in Latin America.[14]

In 2000, LAN Cargo opened up a major operations base at Miami International Airport and currently operates one of its largest cargo facilities there.

In 2002, LAN Chile started its internationalization process through LAN Perú and LAN Ecuador.

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.

On October 28, 2010, LAN acquired 98% of the shares of AIRES, the second-largest air carrier in Colombia. On December 3, 2011, AIRES started operating as LAN Colombia under the unified LAN livery.

LATAM Airlines Group

On August 13, 2010, LAN signed a non-binding agreement with Brazilian airline TAM Airlines to merge,[15] and form the LATAM Airlines Group.[16] The merger was completed on June 22, 2012.[1] 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. [17]

Corporate affairs

LAN Airlines Company headquarters in Las Condes, Santiago

The airline has its headquarters on the 20th floor of the 5711 Avenida Presidente Riesco Building in Las Condes, Santiago Province.[18] Previously its headquarters were in Estado 10 in downtown Santiago de Chile.[19]


Cargo branches

Former subsidiaries


LATAM Chile destinations.
  LATAM Chile Hubs
  LATAM Chile Airlines Destinations

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 has also become a popular choice for surfers traveling to South America because of their policy of not charging extra baggage fees for those passengers transporting a surfboard.[20]

Codeshare agreements

LATAM Chile codeshares with the following airlines:[21]


A LAN Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner at Frankfurt Airport in 2014.
LAN Airlines Boeing 767-300ER with 80 years logo.
A LAN Airlines Airbus A320-200 taking off from Commodore Benitez International Airport in 2011.
The same 787-9 Dreamliner as above, in the same location as above, but repainted into the new LATAM livery. This livery will eventually be applied to all LAN (and TAM) aircraft.
A LAN Airlines Airbus A340-300, used only on Australasia services. LAN retired this type from its fleet in spring 2015; Dreamliners were its replacement.

LAN became the launch customer for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engine on the Airbus A318.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

In 2012, LAN Airlines became the launch customer in the Americas of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The LATAM Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of September 2015):[25]

LATAM Airlines Mainline Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
J Y Total
Airbus A319-100 26 144 144
Airbus A320-200 72 174 174 Operated for Various LAN Brands
12 138 150 Operate for LAN
Airbus A320neo 20 TBA Deliveries January 2016 2020
Airbus A321-200 11 1 220 220 Deliveries November 2014 2016
Boeing 767-300ER 23 18 220 238 Domestic Version
30 191 221 International Version
Boeing 787-8 10 4 30 217 247 Deliveries until 2018
Boeing 787-9 12 6 30 283 313 12 firm orders plus 6 to be leased from ILFC[26]
Deliveries from 2015[27]
Total 154 31

Retired fleet

LATAM Airlines 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.


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.:[29]

The LANPASS Program has four Elite membership categories:[30]

On 5 May 2016, LANPASS became known as LATAM Pass, once LAN Airlines fully transitioned into LATAM Airlines.


LATAM lounge in Santiago de Chile.

LATAM Airlines operates VIP passenger lounges at the following airports:[32]

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).

The new and renovated LATAM Airlines Passenger lounges are designed by Chilean architect Mathias Klotz and Parisian Studio Putman Olivia Putman.

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 at a price 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.

Incidents and accidents


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  2. "LAN and TAM to operate as LATAM with a new livery" retrieved 9 August 2015
  3. "LATAM's entire fleet to have new livery by 2018" retrieved 9 August 2015
  4. "Asociación de Pilotos en Retiro". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  5. 1 2 "Nuestra Historía". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  6. "Al finalizar 1945 las operaciones regionales en Magallanes se desarrollaban con todo éxito y al igual como sucedió en los comi". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  7. "DE LOS DOUGLAS DC-6B A LOS CONVAIR 340 / 440". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  8. "DE LOS CARAVELLE VI R A LOS AVRO HS 748". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  9. 1 2 "De los Avro HS-748 a los Boeing 707". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  10. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 26, 1970. 487. "Head Office: Los Cerrillos Airport, Santiago, Chile."
  11. "La adquisición de los Twin Otter iba a significar un nuevo enfoque a la regional sur de LAN, por lo que se iniciaron los estud". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  12. "Preludio de la privatización de Lan Chile". 1979-06-26. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  13. "Company". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  14. "Reasons For Choosing Us". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  15. "LAN says signs non-binding deal with TAM to merge". Reuters. August 13, 2010.
  16. "LAN and TAM aim to complete merger by mid 2011". Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  17. "LATAM Airlines: It Will Happen! | Travel Research - Industry Events - PhoCusWright Conference". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  18. "Annual Report 2010." (Archive) LAN Airlines. p. 7. Retrieved on January 25, 2013. "Corporate Headquarters Avenida Presidente Riesco 5711 20th Floor Las Condes, Santiago, Chile"
  19. "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 27-April 2, 1991. 99. "Head Office: Estado 10, Santiago, Chile."
  20. Prolite International (March 29, 2013). "Boardbag Charges". Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  21. "Profile on LAN Airlines". CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Archived from the original on 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  22. "LAN Airlines takes delivery of its first A318" (Press release). Airbus. June 5, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  23. Latin America Travel Association. "Latin American Travel Association - LAN Airlines". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  24. "FARNBOROUGH: Germania firms A319 order". Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  25. "LAN Airlines Fleet". Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  26. "LAN confirms plans to take early 787 delivery slots". 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  29. "LANPASS - Vuelos a Chile, Perú, Argentina, Ecuador y Latinoamérica (Sudamérica) - - Acerca de LANPASS". Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  30. Terms and Conditions Of the LANPASS frequent flyer program
  31. 1 2 3 "LAN Oneworld Tier Status". Oneworld. Retrieved July 6, 2010.
  32. "Comunicados de Prensa". Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  33. Aviation Safety Network CC-CLD accident synopsis retrieved September 8, 2011.]
  34. Aviation Safety Network CC-CCG accident synopsis retrieved May 28, 2010.
  35. "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  36. "CC-CBY Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  37. "CC-CAG Accident Description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  38. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 707-351B CC-CCX Buenos Aires/Ezeiza-Ministro Pistarini Airport, BA (EZE)". 1978-08-03. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  39. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2A1 CC-CHJ Calama-El Loa Airport (CJC)". Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  40. "Witnesses Tell of Icy Deaths in Plane Crash - Los Angeles Times". 1991-02-22. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  41. Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 02201991
  42. Viesturs, Ed; Bangs, Richard (2001). Richard Bangs, adventure without end. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 80. ISBN 0-89886-860-2.
  43. Shoddy take-off destroyed runway lights - report. by Dan Lake (Newshub (New Zealand), 24 Mar 2016)
  44. Airline says sorry for damage. by John Weekes (NZME, 24 Mar 2016)
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