LAN Airlines S.A. is a group of South American Airlines based in Santiago, Chile and part of LATAM Airlines Group, Latin America's largest Airline holding. LATAM was formed by the takeover by LAN of Brazilian TAM Airlines which was completed on June 22, 2012, although both companies operate with different certificates and liveries. Its headquarters is located in Las Condes, Santiago Province. LAN is the flag carrier of Chile, the predominant airline in Chile, Perú and Ecuador, the second largest carrier in Argentina and Colombia through its local subsidiaries. LAN is currently positioned amongst the largest airlines in Latin America, serving Latin America, North America, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. Since 2000, it is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance. LAN Airlines is the 49th oldest air carrier in the world from its foundation date, and the 10th oldest airline in operation today. Its main hub is Santiago International Airport. As of December 2011, LAN Airlines had 21,800 employees and a fleet of 149 aircraft (137 orders) serving 22.6 million passengers per year to 97 destinations (including subsidiaries). 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 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. 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 starts its internationalization process through LAN Perú and LAN Ecuador. In March 2004 Lan Chile and its subsidiaries LAN Perú, LAN Ecuador, LAN Dominicana and LANExpress 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. 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% ot the shares of AIRES, the second largest air carrier in Colombia. In December 3, 2011 AIRES started operating as LAN Colombia under the unified LAN livery. 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 Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport slot pairs to other airlines willing to fly the Santiago-Sao Paulo route, to give up membership in either Star Alliance (In which TAM Airlines is member) or Oneworld, and to interline deals with other airlines that operate selected routes, among other provisions.