LATAM Airlines will increase the number of direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago from three per week to five, giving business event delegates from South America easier access to Melbourne.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren welcomed the additional service saying; “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.”

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.

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.

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.

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