The origins of LAN go back to 1929 when the company was established by the Chilean government to provide air transport for passengers, cargo and mail. In 1946 the company began international operations with flights to Buenos Aires , Argentina , later launching services to the United States in 1958 and Europe in 1970.

In 1989, after 60 years as a state-owned enterprise, the privatization of LAN was initiated with the sale of 51% of the airline's equity to local investors and Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). This process was completed in 1994 when the current controlling shareholders together with other major shareholders, acquired 98.7% of the company's shares, including those that were still controlled by the government.

Since that time LAN has been vigorously engaged in the expansion and internationalization of its operations, achieving sustained revenue growth and consistent profitability despite the many challenges the industry has had to face. In addition, LAN has created an extensive regional network, having established passenger operations in Peru, Ecuador Argentina, Colombia through the acquisition of Aires in november 2010  and cargo operations in Brazil and Mexico.

The company changed its corporate image in 2004, officially adopting the name "LAN Airlines S.A". The change aims to reflect the values and attributes common to all of the airlines making up the LAN alliance and emphasizes the organization's internationalization strategy.

1929 First flight.
1946 First flight to Argentina.
1958 First flight to the United States.
1964 First Jet Aircraft.
1970 First flight to Europe.
1989 Privatized.
1994 Acquired by current majority shareholders.
1997 Listed on the New York Stock Exchange ("LFL").
1998 Initiation of Boeing 767 freighter fleet replacement program .
1999 Alliance with American Airlines - Launch of LAN Peru.
2000 Incorporation into oneworld. - Initiation of Airbus passenger fleet renewal program including 27 aircraft.
2001 Alliance with Iberia. - Inauguration of Miami Cargo facility.
2002 Alliance with Qantas. - Alliance with Lufthansa Cargo.
2003 Launch of LAN Ecuador.
2004 Change in corporate image: LAN Airlines S.A. ("LAN").
2005 Launch of LAN Argentina. - Approval of purchase orders for 44 aircraft.
2006 Launch of new Premium Business Class.
2007 Launch of new business model for short haul operations. - Equity offering of US$ 320 million. - Purchase orders for 32 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 4 Boeing 777 freighters.
2008 Phase out of B737-200 fleet and renovation of short haul fleet with Airbus 320 family. - Commercial agreement with TAM.
2009 80th Aniversary of LAN's Opertion. - Initiation of cargo operation in Colombia and domestic passenger operation in Ecuador. - Delivery of 2 Boeing 777 freighters. - Purchase orders for 30 Airbus A320 Family aircraft.
2010 Purchase order for 50 aircraft of the Airbus A320 family; signing of association agreement with TAM; acquisition of Colombia’s AIRES airline.

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