Santiago-based LATAM Airlines has provided Melbourne with its first ever non-stop commercial connection with the Chilean capital.

The carrier first announced the route back in December, which at 11,000 kilometres in distance and 15 hours in duration (westbound from Santiago to Melbourne) is the longest in the airline’s history.

“This announcement is fantastic news for Victorian travellers who will be able to reach Santiago on LATAM’s thrice-weekly service without a stop-over connection,” said Melbourne Airport CEO, Lyell Strambi. “Now holidaymakers will be able to fly straight into Chile’s capital to explore the 19th century architecture, hike the Andes Mountains and become immersed in the rich South American culture.”

The new route adds much-needed connectivity between Australasia and South America. While both LATAM and Qantas do fly between Sydney and Santiago – connections that enable Oneworld to offer a Southern-hemisphere round-the-world ticket option – neither Virgin Australia nor Air New Zealand offer direct connections to South America.

“This service also opens up access into key South American markets like Brazil with only one stop and we are excited to provide Melburnians with yet another international destination made possible by lighter, longer-range aircraft,” Strambi added.

LATAM’s 304-seat B787-9 Dreamliner is flying the route, providing 30 Premium Business, 54 Space + (premium economy) and 220 economy class seats. The aircraft will fly from Santiago on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, while the return leg from Melbourne will depart on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Full details of the service are as follows (all times local):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
LA805 Santiago Melbourne 1330 1740+1 Mon, Thu, Sat
LA804 Melbourne Santiago 2040 1955 Tue, Fri, Sun