Santiago - Oct, 03 2000
In a ceremony attended by Ricardo Lagos, president of Chile and oneworld officials, LanChile took delivery of its first A340-300 plane today. The arrival of this state-of-the-art aircraft represents the first step toward modernizing LanChile’s long-distance fleet, which will gradually be completed with the arrival of six more A340-300.
The A340-300 aircraft will be used on the airline’s intercontinental network linking Europe, North America and the South Pacific, given that the A340’s features make it the ideal choice for long-distance, non-stop flights.
With CFM56-SC4 motors manufactured by CFM International, these planes will be configured with a luxurious, three-class design, including five seats in First, 36 in Business, and 228 in Economy class, all equipped with the latest audio and video systems, ensuring a superior flight experience. Among their advantages, these planes permit the inclusion of fully reclining seats (with the latest electric system), individual screens for each passenger, plus eight movies, 12 musical CDs and 11 interactive games (Tetris, Minesweeper, Blackjack, Poker, Backgammon, among others). The new planes will also make it possible to incorporate individual telephones in each seat, a connection for personal computers, digital sound systems and satellite-fed flight information for each screen.
Moreover, this new fleet will provide LanChile with an operating system common to all its aircraft, given that in October the first of 20 A320-200s will arrive, thus beginning the replacement of 737-200s on short-distance and regional routes. Given that the A320-200s cockpit features are practically identical to the A340-300, the same teams can operate either aircraft, with minimal additional training.
“This delivery is a major landmark in the consolidation of LanChile’s leadership throughout the continent, reflecting our constant effort to provide superior quality products and services to all our passengers,” said Enrique Cueto, LanChile’s Executive Vice-president and CEO.
LanChile is investing US$1.5 billion in buying this Airbus fleet. “The inclusion of these aircraft in our fleet represents an enormous vote of confidence in the Chilean economy and Airbus. In Chile, we need to develop both commerce and tourism and, given our geographic location, the development of a powerful network providing air service is essential to our economy,” said Jorge Awad, LanChile president.
Noël Forgeard, Airbus CEO said that “For Airbus, it is a great source of pride that LanChile has chosen to become an operator of our aircraft, using our planes as part of an important plan for modernizing its fleet.”
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