From 5 October this year, LATAM airlines will begin nonstop flights from Melbourne to Santiago in Chile, operating three times a week with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The service will make history as LATAM is the first airline group to offer a direct service between the two cities and the journey time of 15 hours is also the airline’s longest flight at a distance of more than 11,000km. The aircraft will offer 220 seats in Economy, 54 seats in Space+ and 30 seats in Business.

LATAM Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner photographed on May 13, 2016 from Wolfe Air Aviation Learjet 25B.

Enrique Cueto, CEO of LATAM Airlines Group said, “Over recent years, we’ve seen increasing demand for flights between Latin America and this part of the world — both from business and leisure travellers — and we want to continue supporting the growth of bilateral tourism and commerce.

“With the Melbourne service, we are not only reinforcing LATAM’s commitment to Oceania and the Asia-Pacific, but also to offering unrivalled connectivity to, from and within Latin America.”

Australian ambassador to Chile Tim Kane sees the move as an important milestone for the airline group and the state of Victoria, saying “Chile is Australia’s gateway to the region, just as Australia is Chile’s platform into Asia”.

“These non-stop flights will deepen and broaden Australia’s Latin America links, open new markets, expand people-to-people opportunities and enhance Melbourne as a key destination for Latin American travellers to Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.”

Currently LATAM transports 190,000 passengers per year between Latin America and Oceania. The airline estimates this will increase by 75,000 annually.

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