¡Qué bueno! In less than 24 hours, the people of Melbourne will be one flight closer to salsa dancing in Ilé Habana, exploring Valparaíso, seeing La Roja score goals and sipping on a Pisco Sour.

Yes, today is the day LATAM Airlines officially launches the first-ever nonstop services between Santiago and Melbourne.

Flights, which were announced back in December last year, will take off tonight (6 October), bringing all of South America’s history, culture, food and people, a little closer to the Aussie city.

Yes, Gente de Zona are Cuban, but they seem excited too!

Yes, Gente de Zona are Cuban, but they seem excited too!

Initially, flights will operate three times weekly, with LA804 departing Melbourne at 8.40pm on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday to arrive in Santiago at 7.55 on the same day. LA805 will then depart Santiago at 1.30pm on Monday, Thursday and Saturday to arrive in Melbourne at 5.40pm the following day.

Services will take roughly 13 hours 15 minutes from Melbourne and 15 hours 10 minutes from Santiago.

LATAM Boeing 787-9

Flying in one of LATAM’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft, guests will have access to 220 seats in Economy, 54 in Space + and 30 in Premium Business, which comes with fully-flat beds, a newly-designed food menu and priority airport services.

LATAM Airlines Group’s Regional General Manager for Oceania, Valeria Alvano, said the airline is pleased to be able to provide Melburnians with “faster and easier” connections to the culturally rich and naturally stunning Latin America.

LATAM Santiago 2

“We’re confident both regions will benefit from the new route, which will help support the growth of tourism and commerce.”

Valeria Alvano, LATAM Airlines Group Regional General Manager for Oceania

LATAM estimates that nearly 75,000 people will utilise the route per year, which adds to the 190,000 passengers currently flying with the carrier between South America on its existing Sydney-Santiago service.

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