LATAM, the largest airline in South America, has resumed service between Santiago and Melbourne, restoring a direct link between the Australian state of Victoria and South America.
On 2 September, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner made news as the first direct trip from South America to Victoria since 2020.
At first, flights will take off on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, leaving Santiago, Chile’s capital, and crossing the Pacific Ocean to arrive in Melbourne the following day.
Travellers and Victorian exporters have direct access to LATAM’s global network, with services departing from Melbourne to Santiago on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Boeing 787-9s, with 30 seats in business class and 283 in economy, are used for the service.
LATAM has two cabin configurations for the 787-9. The older 2-2-2 business cabin configuration is currently available on the Melbourne-Santiago route.
The pandemic halted LATAM’s Australian operations in April 2020, with flights from Sydney via Auckland to Santiago resuming in March 2022 with three weekly services and increasing daily by December 2022.
“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,” said Melbourne airport chief executive Lorie Argus.
“Before 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. LATAM’s return takes our overall international capacity back to 97 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, and by the end of the year, we expect to be back at 100 per cent.Top of Form