LATAM is about to start non-stop Sydney to Santiago flights, according to Australian Business Traveller.
Previously they flew between the two cities via Auckland, giving us an opportunity to try out their fifth freedom business class ourselves. These flights will remain with their two hour stopover, but LATAM will now introduce an additional three non-stop services.
“This non-stop Santiago-to-Sydney flight will further improve the connectivity we offer between South America and Australia. In recent years, we have expanded our services significantly, and today we offer an unrivaled choice for passengers on both sides of the Pacific.” LATAM statement.
What are the details?
The new flight will fly direct between the two cities, non-stop, in around 14 hours.
LATAM will still be using a Boeing 787-9 for this flight. This will make Sydney the second city in Australia to have a direct flight on LATAM to Chile, after Melbourne’s route came online in 2017.
Currently, LATAM flies Sydney to Auckland (two-hour stopover) to Santiago (the Sydney leg being a fifth freedom route) four days a week. This service will remain with the new additional three routes flying direct per week.
Santiago is the capital city of Chile in South America. It has seen some rapid modernization and now features the continents tallest skyscraper. Many have said that it is becoming the new hub destination of the region, with tourists from Australia using it as a launchpad to Brazil, Peru, and Argentina.
“More Australians than ever are visiting South America, wanting to discover the many unique destinations of the region and we have seen equally strong demand from passengers traveling in the other direction, forging ever greater tourism and business links,” says Roberto Alvo, Chief Commercial Officer for LATAM Airlines Group to Australian Business Traveller.
What is the service like?
As the route will be flown on their existing fleet of 787 Dreamliners, it will not feature the upcoming business class overhaul we are looking forward to.
You can see a review of their current business class here. It is a perfectly acceptable class to fly on (and can be found quite cheap, or bought using Oneworld or Qantas points), but lacks some of the features that we are coming to expect. Amenities such as direct aisle access for each seat (the old configuration is 2 – 2 – 2 and the new configuration is 1 – 2 – 1) and privacy screens are not present.
LATAM plans to overhaul their 767 and domestic fleet first, before changing up their international fleet. It is likely the aircraft on the Australian route will be some of the last to get the new seats.
This new direct route really highlights the coming trend in South Pole travel, with more direct flights between South America and Australia. We might even expect to see direct flights to Perth soon.
What do you think? Will you fly on the new direct service, or do you prefer to relax in Auckland halfway?