The airline was founded by Chilean Air Force Commodore Arturo Merino Benitez (After whom Santiago International Airport is named), and began operations on March 5, 1929 as Línea Aeropostal Santiago-Arica (English: Postal Air Line Santiago-Arica), under the government of President Carlos Ibáñez del Campo. In 1932 It was rebranded as Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (In English: National Air Line of Chile), using the acronym LAN-Chile as commercial name. LAN-Chile's first fleet consisted of de Havilland Moth planes. Merino Benitez was a strong defender of Chilean carriers exclusivity on domestic routes, differing from most Latin American countries which easily granted authorization on domestic flights to US-based Panagra, influenced by the propaganda made by Charles Lindbergh's Atlantic crossing. Also because of this reason, US-built airplanes became more difficult to incorporate to LAN's fleet until the beginning of WWII. In 1936, 2 French Potez 56 airplanes were purchased while in 1938, 4 German Junkers Ju 86 were incorporated to the fleet. During that same year, a joint cooperation agreement was established with Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano and the Peruvian carrier Faucett. Another agreement with Lufthansa was signed for flights to & from Europe and America's Atlantic coast. In 1940, given the restrictions imposed during WWII on access to spare parts for the Junker's BMW engines, LAN-Chile had to replace them for Lockheed Electra A-10 planes, adding in 1941 further Lockheed Lodestar C-60 and Douglas DC-3 in 1945.