LATAM Airlines Group today signed an unprecedented agreement with Tourism Australia and the Victoria Government to further boost tourism and trade between Australia and Latin America as well as increase its brand awareness.
The partnership coincides with the announcement of LATAM’s new direct Melbourne-Santiago service and aims to promote both leisure and business tourism between Australia and Latin America. The new flight will be the first ever non-stop service between the two cities, reducing the outbound journey time to less than 14 hours.
“LATAM Airlines recognises the importance of working closely with Visit Victoria and Tourism Australia not only to promote its forthcoming new route, but also tourism and trade opportunities between Latin America and Australia,” said Patricio Aylwin, Managing Director Asia Pacific, LATAM Airlines Group.
“As Latin America’s largest airline group, LATAM has an important role to play in providing greater accessibility between Latin America and Australia. Together with these industry partners, we will be able to create even greater opportunities to increase the number of Latin American tourists and business travellers flying to Australia with us,” added Mr Aylwin.
The joint efforts of LATAM and the two tourism boards will focus on raising the profile of Melbourne, Victoria and Australia as a whole to Latin American travellers. The partnership is also designed to help promote LATAM’s new Melbourne-Santiago service, which launches in October 2017, as well as raise awareness of its unrivalled network to, from and within Latin America.
Santiago is one of LATAM’s principal hubs and is a gateway to Latin America, offering onward connections to an unrivalled 124 destinations throughout Chile and the region, including direct services to major cities such as São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogota and Quito. LATAM also serves the region’s leading tourist destinations including Machu Picchu in Peru (via Cuzco), Torres del Paine National Park (via Puerto Natales/Punta Arenas, Chile), the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, the Iguazú Falls (via Puerto Iguazú, Argentina) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
During Tourism Australia’s one-year partnership, it will focus on using LATAM’s position as Latin America’s leading carrier to promote Australia to leisure travellers in the region – specifically rolling out tourism campaigns in Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, said the new three-times-a-week service between Melbourne and Santiago would open up a critical tourism gateway between South America and Australia.
“Santiago is of course Chile’s capital city but it is also one of LATAM’s main Latin American hubs. That means great connectivity within Chile but also beyond, to Brazil and Argentina where we see significant future tourism opportunities.
“As the largest airline in Latin America, transporting over 67 million passengers per year and one with a frequent flyer program with more than 20 million members, the commercial benefits of working with LATAM are huge and very exciting,” he said.
Tourism Australia will work closely with LATAM and Visit Victoria next year to promote the new route, with a series of meetings with leading travel businesses in Chile, Brazil and Argentina as part of Tourism Australia’s Walkabout South America roadshow.
In conjunction, the Victorian Government’s strategic three-year commitment will focus on LATAM’s new Melbourne-Santiago route to develop business opportunities specifically between the two cities.
“The Victorian Government is delighted that LATAM is set to join the growing number of leading international airlines to offer direct flights to Melbourne.
“New international airlines servicing Melbourne boost our economy, create jobs for locals and allow more visitors to experience the best of everything we offer in Victoria,” said John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events.
LATAM currently operates seven flights per week from Santiago to Sydney (via Auckland). In 2015, the airline introduced the Boeing 787-9 aircraft to the route, increasing capacity by 27 per cent. In total, LATAM transports approximately 190,000 passengers per year between Latin America and Oceania.