LAN Airlines, member of the oneworld alliance and part of the LATAM Airline group (and one of my personal favorite airlines) took its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at the end of August. It was a few months ago, but let’s take a closer look at this beautiful bird.
The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, was the first Dreamliner to be received by an airline in the Americas (and the fourth in the world after Japanese ANA and JAL, and Ethiopian Airlines). LAN has 32 787s on order, valued at USD 4.9 billion, to be delivered over the next decade. Two more are delivered this year.
The cabin features 247 seats altogether, with Business Class (30 fully-flat seats in a 2-2-2 layout) and Economy (217 total, in a 3-3-3 layout), making the 787 slightly less crowded than Ethiopian (24+245 = 269) and ANA (12+252 = 264) but more efficient than JAL (42+144 = 186). The numbers compared to the other operators of the type look like a fair compromise expecting a fairly good business audience, that offer specious comfort as well as economy of scale at the same time.
LAN said it expects to start Los Angeles-Lima 787 flights in January 2013. LAN CEO Ignacio Cueto said in a statement, “The Dreamliner will make it possible for us to cover greater distances in a more environmentally conscious and highly efficient aircraft.” As per the latest route announcements, it looks like LAN is planning to operate sort of a circle flight with Santiago-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Lima, Lima-Santiago – enabling three routes with the aircraft type on paper – while in reality each city-pair would only be services one-way by the 787.
Other cities expected to be served by LAN 787s over the next year besides the hub of Santiago are Buenos Aires, Madrid and Frankfurt, the carrier said.
I have flown LAN all around South-America and to the Easter Island (twice), but now I’m looking forward to my next LAN flight, which I will aim to make on one of their 787′s.