On the 5th of March, 1929, Chilean Army Air Services Commander Arturo Merino Benitez founded Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica.
In 1932, the name was changed to Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (LAN Chile).
In September 1989, LAN Chile was privatized by the Chilean government, a majority stake in the company being sold to Icarosan and Scandinavian Airlines System.
In March, 2004, Lan Chile and its subsidiaries LAN Perú, LAN Ecuador, LAN Dominicana and LANExpress became unified under the single LAN brand, instead of Linea Aerea Nacional, the one previously used. Later that year, the formal name of the company was changed from LAN Chile to LAN Airlines.
In August, 2006, LAN Airlines merged First and Business classes of service into a single class, namely Premium Business.
In 2008, LAN Airlines was voted as 3rd best airline in the world, and first South American airline.
In August, 2010, LAN and TAM announced their plan to merge their holdings into a single company, called LATAM Airlines Group. Together, both companies have more than 40.000 employees, 280 aircraft, offering cargo services worldwide and serving 115 destinations in 23 countries.
In January, 2011, TAM S.A. and LAN Airlines S.A. announced the signing of the binding agreements between both companies and their respective controlling shareholders. These binding agreements include an Implementation Agreement and an Exchange Offer Agreement containing the definitive terms and conditions of the proposed business combination of LAN and TAM.
In June, 2012, LAN Airlines S.A and TAM S.A. report that they have successfully completed the exchange offer and mergers through which they have combined their businesses and created the LATAM Airlines Group S.A. The transaction was carried out through an exchange offer in which TAM’s shareholders could elect to exchange their TAM shares for LAN shares.
In December, 2012, American Airlines and LAN Colombia, a member of the LATAM Airlines Group announced that they have signed a codeshare agreement. The agreement provided more options for travelers between Colombia and the United States and Canada.
In March, 2013, LATAM Airlines Group chose Oneworld, an alliance with a strong presence in the Asia/Pacific region, as the global alliance for its airlines, thus establishing Oneworld as the leading alliance for flights within Latin America and from this region to both the United States and Europe. This was announced at the Oneworld meeting held in Hong Kong. LAN Colombia officially joined Oneworld in October.
In April, 2013, LAN Colombia upgraded its fleet for international flights adding three new Boeing 767s and increasing availability of international flights operating from Colombia. The investment reaching $ 360 million will allow LAN Colombia to offer better international flight schedules and more seat availability while providing world-class on-board service.
In 2013, LATAM Airlines Group was the only airline selected from the Travel & Leisure category of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index – Emerging Markets, due to its sector leadership in corporate sustainability issues.
In 2014, LAN and TAM, part of LATAM Airlines Group, South America’s largest airline group, announced the addition of more than 300 international flights to provide the best service to passengers during one of the biggest sporting events in the world that will take place in Brazil in June and July 2014, FIFA World Cup.
In August 2015, it was announced that the LAN Airlines, as well as TAM Airlines, would fully rebrand as LATAM. The rebranding will involve a new livery for both airlines, which will be applied on all aircraft by 2018.
In spring 2016, LATAM Airlines Group unveiled its new Indigo and Coral livery when the first aircraft were repainted (or delivered new) in the new LATAM livery.
In 2017, LATAM inaugurated new routes, including the longest flight in its history – Santiago to Melbourne. In December, LATAM received the first Airbus A320neo aircraft, but, due to an issue with the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines, some of Airbus A320 neo aircraft have been grounded during 2018.
In 2018, LATAM Airlines faced difficulties being forced to ground more than half of its Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners due to problems to the Rolls Royce engines.
In December 2018, LATAM Airlines launched the first non-stop connection between Tel Aviv and South America, with a flight departing from Santiago, Chile, making a stop in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and continuing directly to Tel Aviv, Israel.
In January 2019, OAG, the air travel intelligence company, released the 2019 Punctuality League report, which recognizes LATAM Airlines Group as the top airlines for on-time performance in the Mega Airlines category with 85.60% on-time performance (defined as flights that arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time using full-year data from 2018).
Only two fatal incidents involving LAN Airlines or its predecessors were recorded, the worst of them occuring in February, 1991, when 20 of the 66 passengers on board a chartered LAN Chile BAe146-200 perished, after the aircraft overran the runway on landing and sank in the nearby waters.