I would understand LAN Express if they operated the "small" subfleet of 737's (à la BMIbaby), or if they had subsidies so they have to "isolate" the aircrafts from the entire network, or if the planes are especially configured for specific routes (à la BMED)... but TWO planes???
Why does LAN Express exist and what routes do the fly?
Arcano From Chile, joined Mar 2004, 2414 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3639 times:
Lan Express was born of the remains of Ladeco (UC), airline born in the 50s and bankrupted after Iberia control in the 90s. It became a real headache for Lan Chile in the 80s and early 90s, with a nice fleet and very actractive network including the Caribbean, Central America, USA and Canada.
Short story: it's 1996 and IB sells Ladeco. Lan Chile ask permission to the anti-monopoly commission for buying it, and it's accepted, ONLY if the Ladeco brand remains and the company will keep administrated independently. So they allowed the purchase, but not the merging.
After the acquisition, LAN realised (and somehow blamed) that IB had UC in critical condition, so they decided to take all international network to LAN (as ASU, BOG, GYE, UIO and MDZ, not flown by LA at the time) and leave UC for domestic network only... I think that LAN Cargo was transferred to UC for a while also
It's 2001 and 9-11 happens. LA was able to handle the situation, even with profits from cargo mostly. So the government, following the principle of State Subsidiarity, gave no aid to the airline. But LA asked for the Ladeco Brand condition to be abolished.
So, Lan Express was born as the new name of Ladeco Airlines.
In these days, LAN Express flies most of domestic flights for Lan Chile ("operated by Lan Express"), its by far the largest operator in domestic market. It also holds international flights as MDZ and GRU/GIG. I know LA still uses some callsigns and rights of Ladeco in these markets as well, so sometimes you can see in GIG screens UC flights from SCL...
SO, basically, Lan Express handles all domestic market for LA, no matter if they have legally registred 2 aircraft only. All 732s are operated by Lan Express (I think the code is LU). I think that LA is legally/tax using the two companies for better management and there's still this regulations that allowed LA to take controll of UC 10 years ago.