LAN expands its freighter fleet

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Chile-based LAN AIRLINES will significantly increase its freighter fleet. Saying that it anticipates continued strong growth in air freight demand, LAN has signed an agreement to lease three 767-300Fs and exercised an option for an additional 777F with BOEING (bringing the carrier’s total order to two units, in addition to the two already leased from GECAS). The first of the 767-300Fs (35818, ex-Japan Airlines), was delivered in early November and sub-leased to LAN Cargo associate FLORIDA WEST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES. The second and third units (35816 and 35817, also ex-JAL) will follow in December and January. The 767-300Fs are all CF6-powered, 2007-build units that became available when JAL exited the main-deck freight business this year as part of its restructuring plan. The 777Fs are scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2012. Once all five are delivered, LAN’s freighter fleet will consist of 12 767-300Fs and four 777Fs, operated by the carrier’s own cargo arm LAN CARGO, as well as by its various subsidiaries and associated carriers. These include Mexico-based MAS AIR and Brazil’s ABSA as well as Florida West. LAN said it expected its cargo business to grow 20% this year, and 13%-to-15% in 2011.

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