MIAMI -- There was no shortage of news at LanChile headquarters
during the summer of 1999.
During July alone, Chile's flag carrier inaugurated three
additional nonstop flights per week between Los Angeles and
Santiago, Chile; became a major participating partner in the newly
launched Peruvian carrier, LanPeru, and announced the resumption of
once-weekly service to the Falkland Islands, whose only commercial
air link had been cut last March for diplomatic reasons.
Route growth has contributed to the increase in the carrier's
U.S. market share to 40% in 1998, and, according to Alexandre de
Gunten, vice president, international, for North and Central
America, Asia and the Caribbean, the carrier is now well positioned
to deliver the best in-flight frequencies and service from its
major U.S. gateways to its Latin America gateways.
"LanChile is committed to serving the West Coast market," said
de Gunten, "and we now provide the most nonstop flights from Los
Angeles to South America, including the only nonstop service to
Santiago [three times weekly] and Lima [daily], as well as the only
direct service to Buenos Aires, Argentina [daily via
All together, the Chilean carrier offers 50 flights weekly,
including 36 nonstops, from its North American gateway cities of
Miami, New York and Los Angeles to Lima and Santiago.
Route growth has been accompanied by an upgrade of aircraft,
said de Gunten, who pointed out that the company has standardized
its long-haul fleet with all 767-300ER aircraft, offering three
classes of service.
Further, starting in 2000, the carrier will renew its short-haul
fleet by incorporating 20 new A320 planes. With daily nonstops to
Lima from Los Angeles and New York, it is no coincidence that the
Chilean carrier completed an unusual expansion this year, taking a
49% equity stake in LanPeru, a new Peruvian company that began
domestic operations in July.
"Our North American market is about evenly divided between
commercial, ethnic and leisure traffic," de Gunten said, "and the
leisure sector is showing the strongest growth."
He also added that both Peru and Chile are destinations enjoying
healthy increases in foreign visitors. Peru alone is anticipating a
15% boost in 1999, and "the alliance of LanChile, with its 15-city
network in Chile, and LanPeru, serving major tourist centers, opens
an exciting opportunity for regional tourism development," he
According to de Gunten, "LanChile will handle all facets of the
commercial side of LanPeru, including serving as its official
representative in the U.S."
Further, de Gunten said, "plans for LanPeru include providing
the Peruvian market with a high-quality air transportation service,
and we hope to begin international flights between Lima and Miami
in the near future."
Presently, LanPeru (airline code LP) is operating 737 aircraft
on three daily nonstop flights between Lima and Cuzco and a fourth
with an intermediate stop in Arequipa. The carrier's schedule also
includes two daily nonstop flights between Lima and Arequipa, one
of which continues to Tacna.
According to de Gunten, LanChile also has stepped into the
Chilean tourism picture with the opening of a new division called
LanTours, "and we hope that U.S. wholesalers and travel agents will
want to work with us in making land arrangements for their inbound
FIT and group clients."
De Gunten is particularly proud that his carrier, celebrating
its 70th anniversary this year, received the 1999 Silver OAG
Airline of the Year Award for best Caribbean, Central and South
Landmarks for the company last year included a code-share
agreement with American Airlines, under which members of both
LanPass and AAdvantage frequent flyer programs earn mileage credit
and redeem rewards.
Phone: (800) 735-5526
Tour Information Desk
Phone: (800) 244-5366
LanPeruLine resumes weekly service to Falklands
Phone: (800) 735-5590
PORT STANLEY, Falkland Islands -- LanChile has reinstated its
weekly service to the Falkland Islands' Port Stanley airport. The
service departs on Saturdays from Santiago and stopping en route in
Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.
Last March, service was suspended to the Falklands, a British
colony, due to a diplomatic impasse between Chile and Great
"The Falkland Islands Tourist Board is delighted with the
resumption of LanChile's flights," said manager John Fowler, "for
we can now continue our efforts to urge North Americans touring in
southern Chile to take that extra short step to the Falkland
Effective Oct. 16, LanChile flights between Santiago and Port
Stanley will make an additional stop in Rio Gallegos, Argentina, to
pick up passengers. This stop will operate once monthly in both
The two following U.S. tour operators have programs in place for
the Falkland Islands:
Phone: (800) 327-6162 or (305) 854-8422
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (800) 643-0060 or (860) 868-1710
Falkland Islands Tourist Board
E-mail: [email protected]