Many airlines are based in South America, and although may not have as many international routes as other airlines, they offer the most domestic routes and in many places they are the only way to get around.
LAN Chile– Chilean airline with branches in Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina. This is the major airline in South America with the most routes including to destinations not on the continent including Miami, Chicago, New York, Tahiti, Australia, and European destinations. Itâ€™s also a One World partner and offers multi-city air passes. www.lan.com
Avianca – Colombiaâ€™s major airline has flights across the country and to several key destinations in South and Central America.www.avianca.com
Aerolineas Argentina – Argentinaâ€™s airline with the most domestic routes within the country and flights to Australia, the Us, the UK, Europe, Mexico and many destinations in South America. www.aerolineas.com.ar
Varig – A Brazilian airline that flies to Europe, Canada, and South Africa. www.varig.com
LAB – Boliviaâ€™s top airline, which has a variety of routes within the country and several international routes. www.labairlines.com.bo
Low Cost carriers:
Gol Airlines – This is one of the hottest airlines on the continent now and is rapidly expanding. Itâ€™s based in Brazil and has many domestic routes, but also flies to Argentina, Chile and recently expanded to Peru.www.voegol.com.br
Sky Airlines – This Chilean carrier has most of the same routes as LAN within Chile but for a fraction of the cost.www.skyairline.cl
TANS– In Peru, but doesnâ€™t have the best safety record and flights are often delayed.www.tansperu.com.pe For flights from Miami or Madrid, many South American airlines have the cheapest prices to and from the continent, although Delta, Continental, KLM, Air France, Air Canada, and American Airlines usually have better rates if you are not flying from either of these cities. UPDATE: Grounded!
Star Peru – With nearly every other airline kicking the bucket outside of LAN in Peru, Star Peru has grown to cover most major routes in the country.
Azul Airlines – The founder of Jet Blue has started the ambitious Aerolineas Azul that will hopefully bring prices down on major routes in the extremely overpriced Brazilian market.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.