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Thursday 27 October 2016

New name and new standards for South American carrier

When I travelled to Argentina a couple of years ago with what was then called LAN, I was seriously underwhelmed by the economy class offering. 

LAN is now rebranded as LATAM following a merger with TAM, and bills itself as "the leading carrier to and from South America" with the largest network and unparalleled connectivity throughout the region:

LATAM flies from Sydney via Auckland to Santiago, the gateway to South America, seven days a week with onward connections to over 115 South American destinations, including Argentina, Peru (where I am heading this time with Contours Travel), Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay and Brazil.

The merger brings together South America’s two leading airlines (LAN was Chilean based and TAM Brazilian based). 

The new brand has a fresh logo inspired by the identity and heritage of the region and the rebranding roll-out also includes a new look across airports, aircraft, webpages and uniforms.

Passengers flying with LATAM en route to South America will experience the Boeing 787-9, which the airline says provides "greater comfort, security, and efficiency". 

Remarkably enough, the hype is true. Even in economy on the 787-9 there is plenty of space, a good selection of entertainment and decent food (my veal casserole was excellent). The Chilean cabernet sauvignon was juicy and fun and the post-dinner slug of Ballantine's most generous. Unlike on my previous LAN flights the crew were happy and helpful.  

Fingers crissed the return journey is as good at the back of the plane. (Update: it was, apart from that uncomfortable moment when a dickhead decided to sit himself in the empty seat next to me).

Premium Business Class on board the LATAM 787-9 includes larger auto-dimming windows, dynamic lighting, more storage space at ground level as well as spacious seats with six-way adjustments, including reclining and full-flat positions.

LATAM operates daily flights from Sydney to Santiago, Chile, via Auckland, with onward connections to Lima. LATAM also offers non-stop flights between Sydney and Santiago four times per week in a codeshare partnership. 

Call LATAM reservations on 1800 126 038, visit your local travel agent or go to

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