LAN to receive first 787 in September

Washington DC
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Chile-based LAN will receive its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in September, and aims to operate the aircraft on its first commercial flight in November.

The updated timeline was given by Enrique Cueto, executive vice-president and chief executive of LATAM Airlines group. LAN completed a merger with Brazil's TAM on 22 June.

LAN had said previously it will receive the first aircraft by end-2012, and will operate the aircraft on the Santiago-Lima-Los Angeles and Santiago-Madrid-Frankfurt routes, as well as to Buenos Aires.

Cueto says the first 787 route is likely to be Los Angeles or Buenos Aires, although the airline aims to use the new aircraft for flights to Europe eventually.

"We will start off with shorter routes first since it's a new aircraft. If there are any issues, it will be easier to get maintenance personnel to them," he adds.

LAN has 32 787s on order and has said it will receive the first two by end-2012, followed by another three in 2013. The Oneworld carrier expects to receive all the aircraft by 2018.