Lan Peru to add six A319s and two 767s this year

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Lan Peru has confirmed plans to incorporate six new Airbus A319 and two Boeing 767 aircraft during 2011, with the first deliveries scheduled for April.

A Lan Peru spokeswoman says all eight additional aircraft are originating from the order book of Chile-based parent LAN and represent an investment of $600 million. According to LAN's 2011 fleet plan, which was released last week along with 2010 full-year earnings, the group this year is adding 15 A320 family aircraft and three additional 767 passenger aircraft. In addition to Peru and Chile, LAN has passenger airline subsidiaries or affiliates in Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia.

"The new aircraft will grow our fleet to 25 A319s and nine 767s," the Lan Peru spokeswoman says, explaining that "in principle, the aircraft will be used to increase frequencies and capacity in existing markets". Currently Lan Peru has no plans to open new destinations, although, "depending on the evolution of markets and demand", new routes could be announced "later this year".

"Domestic expansion can now only occur by adding more capacity to existing destinations as we are already flying to all cities in Peru [that have an] airport that supports the operation of A319 jets," she adds.

Lan Peru is now the largest domestic carrier in Peru although its two competitors, TACA Peru and Star Peru, are also expanding this year. TACA Peru has just added its first Embraer E-190 and later this month will launch three new domestic routes while Star Peru last month added its ninth BAe 146.

The most recent additions to Lan Peru's network were Foz do Iguacu and Brasilia in Brazil and Easter Island in Chile. The Lan Peru spokeswoman says these destinations, which were added in the second half of last year, complete the carrier's regional expansion "for the time being".

In the long-haul market, Lan Peru currently operates its Boeing 767 fleet to Mexico City and Cancun in Mexico, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York in the US, Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and Madrid in Spain. The spokeswoman says few variations are expected for this network, although there will be "new frequencies to some destinations".

She says that additional 767s will also be used this year regionally to add capacity on some "high demand routes" which are now served with A319s, such as Lima to Santiago and Buenos Aires.

Over the years, LAN has developed Lima as the group's second international hub in addition to Santiago. Lima's geographical location creates a larger geographical capture area for connecting flights. Some LAN long-haul destinations, such as San Francisco, are now only served non-stop from Lima, with direct connections to most parts of southern South America.