LAN firms up commitment to order 50 A320 Family aircraft

LAN Airlines, one of Latin America's leading passenger and cargo airlines, signed a firm order for 50 new eco-efficient Airbus A320 Family aircraft, making it the largest single airline order for Airbus in Latin America.

Initially announced as a Memorandum of Understanding at the Farnborough International Airshow in July, the airline’s request for incremental A320 Family aircraft is part of LAN’s growth strategy for Latin America, serving as new and replacement aircraft for both existing and new routes. LAN has also selected Sharklets for the A320 that start being delivered in 2013.

Sharklets are large wing-tip devices that will enhance the eco-efficiency and payload-range performance of the A320 Family. They are expected to result up to 3.5 percent reduced fuel burn over longer sectors corresponding to an annual reduction of up to 700 metric tons of carbon dioxide per aircraft. This latest development is part of a larger, continuous-improvement program for the A320 Family. The order also includes 10 A321s, a new aircraft type for the airline.

Ignacio Cueto, LAN Airlines' Chief Operating Officer, commented: “Since 2008, our short haul fleet has been entirely composed by Airbus A320-Family aircraft. Through this agreement, we confirm LAN’s commitment to the development of commercial aviation in Latin America by carefully selecting our aircraft based on its ability to effectively and efficiently serve our short- and long-haul flight needs.”

As of today, LAN’s total Airbus orders exceed 150, with more than 60 aircraft in passenger operations today throughout Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.

“We are extremely pleased with LAN’s continued confidence in Airbus and greatly appreciate the partnership established with LAN over the past 12 years," said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. "The A320 family is recognized as being the most modern and efficient single-aisle aircraft around and, through ongoing investments, the best continuously keeps getting better.”

With more than 550 aircraft sold and a record backlog of more than 250 aircraft to be delivered to its Latin American customers, today more than 300 Airbus aircraft are flying with 22 Latin American airline customers and operators, representing more than 40 percent of the fleet in service in the region.

The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. With 6800 aircraft sold, and more than 4,400 aircraft delivered to some 310 customers and operators worldwide, the A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family. With 99.7 per cent reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the worldwide standard wide-body system.

Source: AIRBUS

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