LATAM Airlines returns to Melbourne

LATAM  Melbourne Airport on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    LATAM Airlines has restarted its flights to Melbourne, Australia, following a pause of almost three and a half years due to the pandemic.

    At 5:30 am, flight LA805 landed at Melbourne Airport with 292 passengers on board. These passengers were greeted with a celebratory gift from both Melbourne Airport and LATAM Airlines.

    Starting today, LATAM Airlines will offer three direct flights per week between Melbourne and Santiago, Chile. This service will be operated on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, allowing up to 900 passengers a week to travel to South America in under 13 hours.

    LATAM crew celebrate at Melbourne Airport.

    LATAM Melbourne Airport on Saturday, September 2, 2023.

    LATAM Airlines resumed services to Australia in March 2022, with Sydney via Auckland to Santiago flights operating three times a week. Currently, LATAM offers daily flights from Sydney via Auckland to Santiago, and with the addition of the Melbourne-Santiago direct route, LATAM Airlines will operate a total of ten flights per week between Australia and South America.

    Chris Ellis, LATAM Airlines Country Manager – Oceania, said:
    “LATAM Airlines is excited to relaunch our direct flights to Santiago, Chile. With the support of the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, we are able to meet the high demand for travel to South America. Our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will operate three weekly direct services between Melbourne and Santiago, offering over 900 seats per week for both business and leisure travellers. With our return to Melbourne Airport, we now have a total of ten weekly flights connecting Australia and South America.”

    Chris further stated, “LATAM Airlines is the leading airline in South America, serving over 144 destinations. Whether it’s for leisure or business, there is so much to explore in this
    remarkable part of the world. We take pride in being pioneers in the region and global leaders in sustainability. By the end of this year, we will have eliminated single-use plastics, and our goal is to become a zero-waste-to-landfill airline by 2027. We can’t wait to have you on board with us soon.”

    Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said:
    “LATAM’s return to Melbourne is a vote of confidence in our visitor economy as we welcome back more tourists and students from Latin America while boosting exports and local jobs.”

    Lorie Argus, Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer, said:
    “LATAM is South America’s largest airline and we’re incredibly proud to welcome them back to Melbourne.” “The resumption of flights to Santiago restores our direct connection to South America
    and also brings the number of international carriers flying into Melbourne back to pre-pandemic levels.

    “These direct flights are not only great for Victoria, thanks to Melbourne Airport’s single terminal precinct, they also provide an easier connection for travellers from Tasmania,
    South Australia, Western Australia and the ACT.”

    Passengers travelling on LATAM Airlines flight LA804 on Saturday, 2 September, were gifted a traditional South American sweet biscuit (alfajor) at check-in and were entertained with some traditional Chilean Cueca dancing.

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