March 25, 2010 / 3:57 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Chile's LAN to take 10 Boeing Dreamliners early

* LAN to be first in Western Hemisphere to have new model

* LAN upgrading its fleet (Updates with LAN Vice-President quote in paragraph 3)

SANTIAGO, March 25 (Reuters) - LAN LAN.SN (LFL.SN) has reached a deal with Boeing Co (BA.N) to bring forward delivery of 10 new Dreamliner planes to 2011 from 2014, a top executive at Chile’s flagship airline said on Thursday.

LAN will be the first airline in the Western Hemisphere to receive the new plane, LAN said. The 787-8 has a capacity of around 250 passengers.

LAN Vice President Enrique Cueto said the airline hopes to receive the new planes in the first half of 2011. LAN ordered a total of 32 Dreamliners in 2007, 26 of which it is buying and six of which it is leasing.

“This fleet ensures sustainable growth of the company preserving the environment and incorporating technology at the vanguard of the industry,” Cueto said in a statement.

Boeing and rival plane maker Airbus EAD.PA are seeking to increase their presence in Latin America, one of the world’s fastest-growing air travel markets.

In 2009, airlines across the globe were hard-hit by the financial crisis, selling planes and canceling or deferring orders.

LAN, considered one of Latin America’s most profitable airlines, is seen pulling up off weak results as the region’s economy improves following the global financial crisis. (Reporting by Antonio de la Jara. Editing by Simon Gardner and Gerald E. McCormick)

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