Chile's LAN was chosen as the premier airline in Central and South America by U.S. magazine Global Traveler. The company received the award based on a reader survey conducted by the magazine between February and August of last year.
"We are very proud to be granted such an award by our travellers," said Armando Valdivieso, general manager for passengers at LAN. "Without doubt, it is their recognition of our efforts and superior service that has brought us this distinction." In 2006, LAN net profit was 241.3 million US dollars and revenue reached 3.03 billion. Consequently, the airline has decided to increase its fleet at a cost 1.8 billion. This will make its capitalization worth approximately 300 million US dollars. Ministry of Food and Agriculture Chile's Ministry of Agriculture is set to become the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in what Agriculture Minister Alvaro Rojas called "the most important event of 2007" for his ministry. "We are about to embark on an import transition into the Ministry of Food and Agriculture," Rojas said. "The process will include the improving and modernizing this institution and the people that work within it." The announcement was made after the Agriculture sub-secretary Celilia Leiva spent last week in conference with agriculture services, countryside representatives and company directors. They established an agenda for 2007 for a "positive and constructive" relationship between the State and private sector. The change bodes well for the national "Chile: Agricultural Power" campaign which aims to increase Chile's international influence and exports. Ronald Brown, president of the Chile's Exporters Association, said the transition will greatly benefit the industry. "It will be the first time ever that the Ministry of Agriculture will work in full collaboration with the private sector," he said. Catalina, 16 year old new top model Chilean sixteen-year-old Catalina Barra is among the five finalists in an international modelling competition held this week in Morocco by the modelling agency Elite Model Look. Barra is a student at Santiago's German College. She has already been approached by several European firms and has signed to advertise for the fashion label Calvin Klein. According to the judges of the international competition, Barra's beauty lies in her "exotic lips and unique face." The Elite Model Look competition is the most famous and publicised modelling competition in the world. It was the event that discovered famous beauties such as Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. Sales boom of backpack with alarm Maleteria Chile, the company that owns sports merchandise brand Head, has developed a backpack equipped with an alarm. The alarm is the product of three years of research and planning. It consists of two magnets which, when separated, trigger a loud alarm to warn the owner that the bag has been opened. "We have been to expositions all around the world and we have seen no product like it," said Javier Barahona, Head brand manager. Despite the invention being developed in Chile, Head has commissioned it to be assembled abroad and shipped back to Chile. Patents have been registered in the United States and several other Latin American nations. There are now six Head backpacks that come equipped with alarms. "Sales have been spectacular," said Hernán Ortiz, Head Retail Manager. "The models have sold double last year's figure already. Total backpack sales are up 30%". Models equipped with alarms are waterproof to protect the electronics and are available from 20 US dollars. SOURCE: EL MOSTRADOR, LA TERCERA, EL MERCURIO By Charles Sanchez (firstname.lastname@example.org)