LATAM announces Melbourne-Santiago return from September

Qantas Points and low charges could see you soaring to Chile by Spring.

LATAM Airlines has announced it will resume direct flights from Melbourne to Santiago starting in September.

Initially introduced in 2017, the South American airline suspended the non-stop flights in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Come Spring, the resumption of services will provide a much-needed boost as LATAM sets out to restore its international flight network, unlocking over 140 destinations for Australian-based travellers.

latam cabin crew

As a Qantas partner, LATAM reward seats in both lie-flat business class and economy can be booked using Qantas Points, while purchased flights can earn passengers a stack of Qantas Points.

The flight schedule

The direct flights will operate three times a week on the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

LATAM 787 Dreamliner image

The flight time is approximately 13 hours and 40 minutes, shaving three hours off LATAM’s existing Sydney to Santiago services, which stops in Auckland.

From 1 September 2023, flight LA804 will depart from Melbourne at 12:25pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, before arriving in Santiago at 11:20am.

On the return leg, LA805 will depart Santiago at 12:55am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, before touching down in Melbourne at 5:30am the next day.

The flights compliment LATAM’s existing Sydney-Santiago services, which make a handy stop in Auckland for those wanting to travel to New Zealand.

LATAM Airlines Country Manager (Oceania), Chris Ellis said LATAM has the largest network in Latin America, with connections to 144 destinations.

“For the past year, we have been building our capacity in Sydney and it’s a pleasure to be taking up residence again in Melbourne Airport as we expand our footprint in Australia,” Mr Ellis said.

How to book with Qantas Points

LATAM’s new Melbourne-Santiago are on sale and available to book using Qantas Points.

If you’re looking to fly at the pointy end in a lie-flat business class seat, the direct flight will cost 119,200 Qantas Points one-way (plus $85 in carrier charges).

A one-way economy ticket, on the other hand, will fetch 50,300 Qantas Points (plus $85 in carrier charges).

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The key thing to note here is that carrier charges remain quite low, which is proving to be rarer with partner airline redemptions.

Reward availability remains quite good for business class seats, with economy seats still plentiful across departure dates.

Final thoughts

The resumption of direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago is a win for Qantas Frequent Flyers who can benefit from reward seats with modest carrier charges.

Come September, LATAM will be the only airline to link Melbourne to South America, the direct flight offering a more convenient option than the airline’s existing Sydney service, which flies via Auckland.

The direct flights will also make it easier for Australians to access South America’s rich cultural delights and stunning landscapes, with LATAM offering connections to bucket list destinations in the region.

LATAM Airlines is the largest airline in South America, serving more than 140 destinations in 25 countries.

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