hub to take line to top among offshore carriers
a major expansion of its South Florida hub, LanChile is constructing
what is destined to become the largest cargo terminal of any foreign
line at Miami International Airport.
$64 million, four-story structure is being built on 44.5 acres obtained
with a 25-year lease from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department
the biggest land concession to a foreign airline at any airport in
the US, LanChile Airlines officials say.
of the new cargo storage and office building is being financed by
a Miami-Dade County bond issue.
completion, which is expected in July 2001, the L-shaped facility
being built by the Airis company of Houston will double the airline's
cargo space to almost 300,000 square feet. Another 50,000 square feet
will house the Chilean carrier's passenger sales, marketing, reservations
and accounting offices, now in Kendall. When it's ready, LanChile
will move its freight facilities from buildings 705 and 706 at the
new complex will include a 60,000-square-foot refrigeration unit and
a cold tunnel leading to the aircraft loading area. These amenities
will accommodate LanChile's movement of perishables such as salmon,
shellfish, fruits, berries, flowers and live animals from Chile and
other South American countries, airline administrators say.
main cargo carried south from Miami, they say, is electronics.
airline last year moved 332,000 metric tons of cargo a 41.9%
increase in volume over the previous year's level and a 35% increase
in dollar terms. Cargo represented 38% of LanChile's total 1999 revenue
of $1.24 billion.
the only Latin American carrier whose stock is traded on the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: LFL) is the second largest cargo
carrier at Miami International, says Martin Mosley, LanChile's marketing
director for North & Central America & Asia.
cargo fleet, he says, has five DC-8s and three Boeing 767s, plus four
leased 747s. This, Mr. Mosley said, is in addition to the belly space
of all LanChile passenger aircraft, which is also used for freight.
he said, also operates as a general sales agent for Brazilian airline
TAM and American Airlines on certain routes. Under these arrangements,
LanChile buys the belly space from those carriers, then sells it,
Mr. Mosley said.
said LanChile serves six countries nonstop from Miami Colombia,
Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic and Chile. That, Mr.
Mosley said, is more than any other foreign airline does from anywhere
in the US.
expansion at Miami International Airport coincides with a recently
launched drive by the airlines to win recognition in both international
cargo and passenger service as "one of the top 10 airlines in
the world," Mr. Mosley said.
month Lanchile executives announced the line has placed orders for
seven Airbus A340 aircraft, with options for 14 more, and 20 A320s.
Already, it has one of the world's youngest fleets in international
service, executives say, with an average aircraft age of 3.8 years.
first Airbus planes go in service this fall on the Santiago-Madrid
route, Mr. Mosley said. Also, he said, LanChile just announced the
addition of nonstop service from New York to Santiago and the extension
of sister airline LanPeru's service to New York beginning Oct. 7.
there is more to come," Mr. Mosley said.
he said, the cabins on the international fleet have been modified
to provide a new level of comfort for first class and business passengers.
unveiling the enhanced on-board amenities last month, LanChile officials
announced that the number of first-class seats has been reduced to
just five, with two dedicated flight attendants. The seats recline
completely flat and have privacy screens and an array of audio and
video options, officials said.
business class, LanChile publicists say, now contains 28 customized
seats that compare to those in the previous first class, with an increase
in incline to nearly flat and pitch, or the space between rows, of
head-rests, blankets, pillows and food and wine service have been
upgraded. Readers of Travel & Leisure magazine named the new LanChile,
originally launched in 1929, the line with the best service between
North America and Latin America. The Official Airlines Guide gave
LanChile a regional airline of the year award and Business Traveler
International chose it as having one of the top five wine cellars
in the air.