LAN looks to go direct

LAN looks to go direct

LAN Airlines launched its inaugural Dreamliner flight from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland yesterday and said that it may operate a direct flight.

“It allows us to think of other possibilities – a direct flight is on the drawing board with this new aircraft,” LATAM Airlines Group managing director Asia Pacific Patricio Aylwin said.

The Latin American carrier is not stopping there however, with plans for growth within Australia.

“We’d like to open new ports n Australia and hopefully we get support from different states,” Aylwin told Travel Weekly.

Aylwin declined to name the ports being considered but said expansions would happen in the next five years.

Speaking to increased competition from Air New Zealand’s service to Buenos Aires kicking off at the end of the year, Aylwin said it would probably drive prices down.

However, he emphasised the importance of flight connectivity as Australian and New Zealand travellers are multi-country travellers.

“Point to point is not where you’re going to win the battle for South America, you need the network,” Aylwin said.

“I think it’s about the complimentarity of the destinations.”

LAN’S alignment with Brazilian carrier TAM is moving toward a homogenisation of the customer-facing elements.

“Once you’re on the aircraft you can’t tell if LAN or TAM. You will start seeing slowly, it takes a long time,” Aylwin said.

At the Dreamliner inaugural held yesterday, LAN hosted a number of trade partners from Helloworld, Flight Centre, Consolidated Travel, CT Partners, Scenic and STA Travel.

“We see a huge potential in both Australia and New Zealand and there’s a lot of interest in coming this way as well,” Aylwin said.

LAN Airlines

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