Latin American direct flights return to Melbourne

Published: 4 April 2023

LATAM airplaneThe return of Latin America’s largest airline to Melbourne will bring more visitors and international students, increase trade opportunities and create hundreds of local jobs.

LATAM Airlines will restart its direct services to Melbourne from Santiago, Chile after pausing them in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

Backed by the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport, LATAM’s direct flights to Melbourne will begin from September with 3 flights a week – adding more than 38,500 seats to the state and over $52.5 million to the economy each year, and creating an estimated 297 new jobs in aviation and tourism.

Santiago is a major hub in Latin America and serves as a gateway to key markets including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. The region is home to almost 660 million people and offers growing opportunities for Victorian businesses in key industries such as agri-food, energy, and mining and minerals.

LATAM’s flights will strengthen our export access to Latin America with its Boeing 787-8 aircraft able to carry up to 10 tonnes in air freight each way. Two-way goods trade between Victoria and the region was valued at $2.8 billion in 2021-22.

Victoria is also a popular study destination for students from Latin America. In 2019, almost 20,000 international students from the region were enrolled in Victorian institutions.

Other airlines the Victorian Government has supported recently to expand their international services to Melbourne include Qantas Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Bamboo Airways, Scoot, VietJet and EL AL.

Victoria’s international aviation sector directly employs 6,700 people and supports thousands of other jobs.