Direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago are back on the cards after LATAM Airlines made its return to the Victorian capital this past weekend after more than three years away.
Flight LA805 touched down in Melbourne at 5:30am on Saturday with 292 passengers on board, each greeted with a celebratory gift from both LATAM and Melbourne Airport.
The new direct service will operate using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, providing up to 1,800 seats weekly in both directions between the two cities in less than 13 hours.
LA804 takes off from Santiago on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week just before 1am, crossing the International Date Line and touching down in Melbourne at 5:30am the following day. The return sector pushes back at 12:25pm, pulling up to the gate in Chile at 11:20am the same day.
The new three-times weekly service will add to the existing daily service from Sydney to the Chilean capital which flies via Auckland and takes the carrier’s weekly Australian service to ten flights.
LATAM Airlines Country Manager Oceania, Chris Ellis, said he was thrilled to welcome the new service back to Australia.
“LATAM Airlines is excited to relaunch our direct flights to Santiago, Chile. With the support of the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, we are able to meet the high demand for travel to South America.”
Melbourne Airport CEO, Lorie Argus, said the return of LATAM marked two important milestones for Victoria.
“The resumption of flights to Santiago restores our direct connection to South America and brings the number of international carriers flying into Melbourne back to pre-pandemic levels,” Argus said.
“Prior to Covid-19 we had 36 airlines operating international flights into Melbourne Airport and returning to that number has taken hard work from our team and the Victorian state government.”
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