Direct flights between Melbourne and the Chilean capital of Santiago are back on the cards after LATAM finally confirmed the poorly guarded secret of the resumption of the route from 1 September.
After a pandemic-induced suspension of all Australian services, the South American carrier will return to Victorian skies, initially with a three-times weekly service on Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
The direct service will connect the Victorian and Chilean capitals in less than 13 hours each way and remove the Auckland stopover experienced by the airline’s flights to and from Sydney.
Flight LA804 will take off on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 12:25pm, touching down in Santiago at 11:20am the same day. Conversely, LA805 will set off just before 1am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, crossing the date line with wheels-down in Melbourne at 5:30am the next day.
From Santiago, travellers will be able to connect to more than 144 destinations across LATAM’s network across the Americas.
LATAM Country Manager Oceania, Chris Ellis, said the airline was extremely excited to be working with the Victorian government to resume the direct service to South America.
“There has been a huge demand for travel to the region and we are thrilled to be able to meet the needs of travellers, starting with over 900 seats a week on our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft,” Ellis said.
“For the past year, we have been building our capacity in Sydney and it's a pleasure to be taking up residence again in Melbourne Airport as we expand our footprint in Australia.
“We are proud to be pioneers in the region and one of the world leaders with our sustainability initiatives, including eliminating single-use plastics by the end of 2023 and being a zero-waste-to-landfill airline by 2027,” Ellis added.
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