UPDATE 2-Chile LAN confirms order of 50 A320 planes

* LAN seeks to boost expansion in Latin America

* Shares up more than 1.5 percent after order confirmation
(Adds detail on fleet update and investment plans)

By Alonso Soto

SANTIAGO, July 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Chile’s dominant airline LAN
(LAN.SN: ) (LFL.N: ) said on Tuesday it has ordered 50 Airbus A320
planes with a list price of around $4.15 billion as the carrier
seeks to expand its operations in Latin America.

LAN plans to double its fleet with an investment of about
$7.7 billion by 2018. The 50 short-haul planes would be
incorporated in its fleet between 2012 and 2016 and used in
regional and domestic routes in Latin America, LAN said.

LAN has placed orders for 95 A320 planes that it would get
between 2010 and 2016, and might sell 15 A318 planes, a company
spokeswoman told Reuters.

Shares in LAN dipped 0.44 percent after the opening, and
rebounded 1.69 percent at 11,440 pesos. LAN shares have climbed
more than 32 percent this year.

“My particular view is that they exaggerated a little bit.
Fifty aircrafts is a lot of capacity. I’m a little bit
concerned, but it’s not a major concern, because demand is
doing well,” said Caio Pereira Dias, an analyst with Santander
Investment in Brazil. “The main message is that the company is
very confident in their domestic operations.”

LAN was one of the Latin American companies that made large
commercial plane orders at the Farnborough Airshow on Tuesday.
For more click on [ID:nFARN10]

The Chilean carrier, one of the region’s profitable
airlines, has gained passenger traffic, rising 15.5 percent in
June from a year earlier after growing 13.9 percent in May.
[ID:nN08235982]

In December, LAN signed a contract to buy 30 new Airbus
A320 short-haul planes worth around $1.97 billion.

Airbus is a unit of EADS (EAD.PA: ).

Investing Research

($1=533 Chilean pesos)
(Reporting by Alonso Soto. Additional reporting by Brad
Haynes; Editing by Robert MacMillan)

UPDATE 2-Chile LAN confirms order of 50 A320 planes