More Victorians will be able to visit Santiago with LATAM Airlines announcing it will increase the number of direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago from three per week to five.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren welcomed the additional services, which will play a key role in increasing access between Victoria and South America, an emerging trade market for Victoria.
The increase in services comes on the back of growing demand from passengers flying between Melbourne and Santiago. The additional services are expected to add 50,000 more passengers per year.
The first ever direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago landed at Melbourne Airport in October last year and have significantly reduced travel times between the two cities, boosting tourism and trade opportunities.
Over 15,000 Latin American students were enrolled in Victorian educational institutions in 2017, representing a 400 per cent increase over the past decade, with the additional LATAM services expected to encourage even more students from Chile and South America to choose to study in Victoria.
Victoria is a natural gateway to Asia for Latin America with around 40 direct flights currently connecting Melbourne to global cities, almost 30 of which connect Melbourne with Asia. Santiago is one of LATAM Airlines’ major hubs and these services will strengthen connections to the rest of South America.
Victoria has 35 international airlines servicing Melbourne Airport. The airport had 36.7 million passengers through its terminals in the 2017-18 financial year, including 10.9 million international passengers.
Earlier this year, the Andrews Labor Government released Globally Connected: Victoria’s Latin America Trade and Investment Strategy – a blueprint to increase trade and investment between Victoria and South America.
LATAM Airlines is one of the many South American companies either investing or looking to invest in Victoria, with many Victorian companies looking to reciprocate.
The increased services with LATAM airlines are set to commence on 1 January 2019.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“We’re thrilled to see more direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago with LATAM. This will open up more business and tourism opportunities on both sides of the South Pacific.”
“More flights from Santiago to Melbourne means more international visitors will get to experience everything our wonderful state has to offer.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis
“Latin America is a major emerging market for Victoria and extra flights from Santiago to Melbourne will help to boost our visitor economy, support local communities and create more jobs.”
“Our LATAM trade strategy is designed to increase trade with South America and create jobs for Victorians.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020