LAN Airlines Serves up Just Desserts

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LAN Airlines is just full of surprises. In case you missed the syndicated news story, unsuspecting patrons at Nuela—a much-heralded, South American restaurant in New York City’s Flatiron district that specializes in nuevo latino fusion cuisine—were directed to look under their tables for a major treat. No, not the house-favorite dessert of churros with pink chocolate dipping sauce, but a voucher for one roundtrip ticket to Ecuador, Peru, Chile or Argentina: a surprising and delicious launch to LAN Chile’s Only in South America campaign.

Saluting the start-up to a multi-year effort to promote leisure travel to the continent, Pablo Chiozza, v.p. North America and Caribbean, says,  “From New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco, LAN Airlines and its affiliates offer unparalleled access to natural, cultural and culinary attractions only in South America. Our campaign [is designed to] give travelers a taste of what makes South America—the home of Camenere wine, the lost world of Machu Picchu, the unique Galapagos Islands—and our airline services so special.”

The history of this “surprising” airline began with its founding in 1929; however, many travel industry members recall that it was known as LanChile until the start of the new millennium. Since then, expansion has been dramatic and ongoing as LAN has invested in many of its neighbors’ national airlines, and now has a continent full of affiliate airline companies tucked into its competent wings. Since 2000, LAN has annually won Skytrax’s “Best Airline in South America” award.

-In 2003, LAN Ecuador (XL) began flying international routes in South America (to Lima, Santiago and Buenos Aires) and to Miami and JFK airports in the U.S.  In 2009, the Guayaquil-based carrier added domestic flights, most recently to the Galapagos Islands, adding San Cristobal, to its existing islands service to Baltra.

-In 2005, LAN Peru (LP) made its debut and now operates 130 departures daily to 14 destinations in Peru and 19 airports elsewhere in SA, U.S. and Europe.  And from this Lima hub, the carrier introduced this year first-time-ever regional services connecting Lima with Iguazu Falls, ditto for launch of flights from Lima to Easter Island.

-In 2005, LAN Argentina (4M) launched flights from Miami to Buenos Aires. At home, the Argentine carrier serves 13 domestic destinations, which combine with LAN’s Chile services to cover all points in Patagonia.

-In October 2010, LAN acquired 98 percent shares in Aires, the second largest carrier in Colombia. In the first quarter, its new-branded LAN Colombia  aircrafts will be flying between Bogota and Fort Lauderdale.

-In 2012—somewhere in the first half of the year—LAN expects to make an official announcement of a completed merger with TAM, Brazil’s largest airline, serving 42 domestic destinations and 18 international gateways in the U.S., Europe and South America. While the two carriers will maintain independent brands following the combination, this merger will create one of the world’s largest airlines. Not surprising.

For more information, call (866) 435-9526 or visit lan.com.