LATAM Set To Launch Falklands Flights From Sao Paulo

The Falkland Islands Government has announced that from November 20th this year LATAM Airlines will commence a new weekly flight between São Paulo, Brazil and Mount Pleasant.

LATAM jet on taxiway
New weekly flight between São Paulo and Mount Pleasant announced. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

LATAM’s new route connecting São Paulo, Brazil with the Falkland Islands has long been anticipated. The carrier will deploy a 767-300 featuring lie-flat seats in business class for the five-hour flight.

The additional service will deploy until March 25th next year.

The service will run from Brazil’s largest city to Mount Pleasant airport which serves as the British island’s principal hub. Mount Pleasant is also an RAF base built purposefully for the air defense of the overseas territory. It is located southwest of Stanley which is the island’s only other airfield.

LATAM intends the flight to depart São Paulo at the start of the day and return late in the evening. Twice a month, the flight will be non-stop between São Paulo/Guarulhos and Mount Pleasant. Once a month, the flight will stop in Cordoba, Argentina.

Falkland Islands Government (FIG) minister Barry Elsby talked favorably of the impact the new route will have on the island’s economy.

The new service will significantly strengthen our ties with the outside world,” Elsby told Penguin News. “[It will] provide a range of benefits for our community, not only in terms of expanding their opportunities to travel, but also in terms of the movement of goods into and out of the country.”

LATAM jet on taxiway
Falkland Islands Government sees new route as an opportunity. Photo: Sky KoreSCL via Wikimedia

New route

LATAM revealed in its recent manifest that it will fly the route using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The type is configured for a capacity for 191 passengers in Economy and 30 passengers in Premium Business.

The carrier was picked to operate the Brazil-Argentina-Falklands itinerary following a 2018 tender process. The signing of the agreement was heralded as a significant step towards an Anglo-Argentinian detente, shaky since the war of ’82.

Writes LATAM, Nicolás Salazar, Vice President said, “With the addition of LATAM’s new Mount Pleasant service, we will double the number of commercial flights to the islands.

“We will provide direct access to our São Paulo hub, offering connections with destinations throughout South America, North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

LATAM have been contacted for further comment but we have not yet received a reply.

Schedule

Twice a month, LATAM Airlines Brazil will operate a non-stop return service between São Paulo/Guarulhos and Mount Pleasant. On the second Wednesday of each month, the southbound flight will stop in Cordoba. The return leg will be non-stop.

LA8208 will depart São Paulo at 06:50 and arrive in Cordoba at 10:15. It will then continue its journey at 11:40 with a final arrival time of 15:05 in Mount Pleasant.

According to the airline, the new route is scheduled to connect seamlessly via its hub in São Paulo with flights to and from international destinations such as London and Madrid.

LATAM jet on taxiway
Commercial flights “doubled” with new Falklands route. Photo: Sky KoreSCL via Wikimedia

Response

FIG has welcomed LATAM’s move, and for good reason. It comes amid concerted efforts to maintain the rise in the number of tourists seen of the last 15 years. Tourism contributes an estimated £4 million to the economy. But a dependable tourist market relies on even greater connectivity, according to the Government

The Brazilian provision also fits nicely within the delineation of the Government’s “Islands Plan”. Commissioned in 2018 the plan includes the regeneration of the Falkland island’s industry and financial buoyancy.

In a statement published by Penguin News, FIG said: “This exciting new air link will also bring significant commercial benefits to the Falkland Islands.

“It will bring an estimated increase in economic activity of over £2m annually as well as encourage growth in tourist, retail and hospitality sectors.”

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