Press Release Source: LAN Airlines S.A.
LAN Airlines Announces Financing To VRG LINHAS AEREAS S.A.
Wednesday January 31, 10:49 am ET
SANTIAGO, Chile--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LAN Airlines S.A. and its related companies, ("LAN" or "the Company") (NYSE:LFL / IPSA: LAN), one of the leading airline groups in Latin America, announced today that it has provided a total of approximately US$ 17.1 million in financing to Brazilian company VRG LINHAS AEREAS S.A. ("New Varig"). These loans may be converted into shares of New Varig and if LAN were to exercise its option to convert the loans into stock, the Company would then have a minority stake in New Varig.
New Varig is a Brazilian airline company formed for the purpose of acquiring part of the assets of airline Varig S.A. during the latter's bankruptcy procedures. New Varig is currently operating in accordance with its technical and operational certification ("CHETA") which is granted by the Brazilian National Aviation Authority.
LAN in currently involved in ongoing negotiations with New Varig's shareholders in order to potentially exercise its option to participate in such company through the capitalization of its loans.
LAN Airlines is one of the leading airlines in Latin America. "LAN" makes reference to the consolidated entity that includes LAN Airlines, LAN Express, LAN Peru, LAN Ecuador, and LAN Argentina, as well as LAN Cargo and its affiliates. Through its own operations and code-share arrangements, the LAN Alliance serves 15 destinations in Chile, eleven destinations in Peru, nine destinations in Argentina, two in Ecuador, 30 destinations in other Latin American countries, 25 in North America, 13 destinations in Europe, four in the South Pacific and one in Asia. Currently, the LAN Alliance operates 70 passenger aircraft and 10 dedicated freighters.
LAN Airlines is a member of oneworld (TM), the world's leading global airline alliance. It has bilateral commercial agreements with oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Qantas, as well as with Alaska Airlines, AeroMexico, Mexicana, and TAM. For more information visit www.lan.com or www.oneworldalliance.com.
Gisela Escobar - Head of Investor Relations
Juan Jose Irarrazaval - Investor Relations Analyst
Tel: (56-2) 565-3944/8775
In New York
i-advize Corporate Communications, Inc.
Maria Barona/Melanie Carpenter
Tel: (212) 406-3690
Source: LAN Airlines S.A.
[Edited 2007-01-31 17:08:10]