Chile Set To Allow International Travelers From November 23rd

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After more than eight months, the Chilean government is allowing the entrance of international travelers. This new measure will take place on November 23, according to the government.

LATAM Getty
Chile will allow international travelers by the end of November. Photo: Getty Images

How can I enter Chile?

Currently, Chile, Uruguay, and Venezuela are the only South American countries that hold severe restrictions against international travelers. Now, the Chilean government published a new decree lifting these harsh conditions. It said,

“Starting at 00:00 of the day 23 November 2020, the allowed spot for international travelers to transit into the national territory will be the Arturo Merino Benítez Airport,”

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), these are the current restrictions in Chile:

  1. Only nationals, residents, and passengers with a marriage certificate with a national or resident of Chile can enter the country.
  2. Passengers without a negative COVID-19 test are subject to quarantine for 14 days
  3. Passengers must complete an “affidavit for travelers” submitted before departure.

Once the government lifts the ban for international travelers, the measures mentioned above will continue.

Sky Airline
Chile has three main domestic carriers: LATAM, Sky, and JetSMART. Photo: Astra 91 via Wikimedia Commons.

How has the pandemic impacted Chilean connectivity?

Due to its geographical position, Chile didn’t have tons of connectivity even before the pandemic. There was a total of 23 airlines operating flights out of Arturo Merino’s Airport. Among these carriers were LATAM, JetSMART, Sky Airline, GOL, Air Canada, KLM, American Airlines, Iberia, Qantas, Aeromexico. In 2019, it received 24.6 million passengers.

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Now, only 13 airlines are operating from Santiago’s Airport. There are only 14 direct routes, a 78% decrease in comparison with last year. The expectation is that the airport will only receive eight million passengers, a third of last year’s numbers.

So far, Santiago de Chile’s airport has lost all direct connectivity with Asia and Oceania as well as several cities in North America and Latin America.

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Moreover, the most frequent routes to Lima, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires had a massive decrease in the weekly number of flights. Lima’s route went from having 91 weekly flights to six; to Sao Paulo, it went from 91 to seven and Buenos Aires from 84 to two.

The lost connectivity will likely return at some point, but, so far, there’s a drastic difference in Santiago’s Airport.

Aerolíneas Argentinas Getty
Chile has lost tons of connectivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Getty Images.

What routes have been lost?

This week, the Chilean newspaper La Tercera published that Chile has lost direct flights to 22 cities. So far, these routes have been canceled, with no resumption date:

  1. Oceania: Papeete, Melbourne, and Auckland
  2. South America: Salvador, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Iguazú, Mendoza, Córdoba, Rosario, Cuzco, Arequipa, Trujillo, and Cali.
  3. North America and the Caribbean: Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Punta Cana, Cancun, and Mexico City.
  4. Asia: Tel Aviv.

Currently, LATAM Airlines Group still holds 52% of the international market share to Chile and 57% of the domestic market.

The Chilean low-cost Sky Airline is the second-largest operator in the country. It holds an international market share of 10% and 25% domestic market share. Finally, JetSmart has a 17% domestic market share and a 5% international market share (the same as Iberia).

Are you planning to travel soon to Chile? Let us know in the comments.

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