The first ever direct flight between Santiago and Melbourne will land at Melbourne Airport this evening, heralding a new stage in the growing relationship between Chile and Victoria.
The Andrews Labor Government has partnered with South America’s largest airline, LATAM Airlines, to operate three services per week.
LATAM is now one of 31 international airlines flying directly out of Victoria, boosting tourism and trade.
This new service between Victoria and Latin America will grow the strong business ties in international education, mining equipment, technology and other services.
Around 175,000 international students currently study in Victoria each year – almost one third of Australia’s international student population.
The new LATAM service will grow this number and encourage even more students from Chile to choose Victoria, which is up 51 per cent over the five years to 2016.
Securing more direct air services has helped Victoria become one of the strongest economies in the country, with the Labor Government creating more than 270,000 jobs since taking office.
More visitors to our state means more jobs for Victorians, and that’s why the Labor Government will continue to work with airlines around the world to keep strengthening our aviation industry.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“Victoria is home to some of the strongest international visitor numbers in Australia and we’re working to ensure that those figures keep climbing.”
“Many Chilean businesses see Melbourne as the gateway to Asia and we see Chile as a gateway to South America – these new flights will reinforce that.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis
“Our relationship with Chile is growing and they will be an important trade partner for us well into the future.”