7 December 2016
Tourism Australia in partnership with the Victorian Government has entered into a new deal with LATAM Airlines Group to secure a new service to Melbourne.
LATAM’s new Santiago-Melbourne direct service will launch in October 2017 reducing the outbound journey time to less than 14 hours for both leisure and business visitors between Australia and Latin America.
John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, said the new three-times-a-week service between Melbourne and Santiago would open up a critical tourism gateway between South America and Australia.
“Santiago is of course Chile’s capital city but it is also one of LATAM’s main Latin American hubs. That means great connectivity within Chile but also beyond, to Brazil and Argentina where we see significant future tourism opportunities.
“As the largest airline in Latin America, transporting over 67 million passengers per year and one with a frequent flyer program with more than 20 million members, the commercial benefits of working with LATAM are huge and very exciting,” he said.
Tourism Australia will work closely with LATAM and Visit Victoria in 2017 year to promote the new route, with a series of meetings with leading travel businesses in Chile, Brazil and Argentina as part of Tourism Australia’s Walkabout South America roadshow.
LATAM currently operates seven flights per week from Santiago to Sydney via Auckland and now with the new direct Melbourne service, LATAM estimates it will transport an additional 75,000 passengers between the two continents each year.
Visitors to Australia from Chile, Brazil and Argentina are up 13 per cent in the 12 months to September 2016.