Latin American airline group LAN will take delivery of its first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on 31 August, becoming the fourth operator of the aircraft and the first in South America.

The aircraft (CC-BBA) completed final assembly in July and will be unveiled in a ceremony at Boeing's Everett, Washington, facilities on 30 August. It will depart on a flight to Santiago on 31 August at about 17:00 local time and arrive in the Chilean capital on 1 September at about 09:00, says LAN.

LAN, which recently completed a merger with Brazil's TAM to form LATAM Airlines group, has 32 787s on order. Of these, 22 are -8s while the remaining 10 are the larger 787-9s. All 32 aircraft will have Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

LATAM's chief executive Enrique Cueto said that the first LAN 787 route will likely be to Los Angeles or Buenos Aires, and that the airline aims to operate the aircraft to Europe eventually, during an interview with Flightglobal in June. Madrid, Frankfurt and Lima are among the other destinations that the airline plans to operate the new aircraft to.

LAN's 787 order will be delivered during the next 10 years, and represents a $3.5 billion investment for the airline. Its first 787-8 is configured in two classes, with 217 seats in economy and 30 in business.

The Latin American carrier will be the first in the region to operate the 787 and the fourth airline to take delivery of the aircraft. All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines have taken delivery of the type, with Ethiopian receiving its first on 14 August.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news