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Qantas Change To See 20,000 More Australian Travellers Visit Chile Next Year

Chile may be known for its lunar landscapes, but it’s also a cosmopolitan melting-pot growing in popularity.

Desert vistas that embarrass Mars. The Gran Torre. Tongue-punching empanadas. When you think of Chile you probably envision the Atacama and food spicier than a teenage meme lord.

What you may not know, however, is that Chile is a springboard to the rest of South America, and that there are soon going to be daily flights running from Sydney, Australia, straight to its heart.

Per the Qantas media release: “Qantas has… announced Sydney-Santiago as the next route for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with the national carrier also adding an additional three return flights per week between the two cities.”

This means that from late June 2020, customers travelling between Sydney and Santiago will experience the Dreamliner’s next generation Economy, Premium Economy and Business cabins, as the more efficient 787-9 Dreamliner gradually replaces the Boeing 747 aircraft on Qantas’ international network by the end of 2020.

Qantas currently has eight 787-9s in its fleet, with a further six arriving from October 2019, bringing the total fleet of Dreamliners to 14 in the second half of 2020.

Qantas International Acting CEO Naren Kumar said this would prove an exciting change for customers travelling to the South American gateway.

“Our Dreamliner has been extremely popular with customers, so we’re pleased to give those travelling between Australia and South America the opportunity to experience it.”

The additional flights will increase flights on the route from four per week to daily, which will inflate the number of passengers travelling to Chile from Australia each year by 20,000.

Qantas is now also the only airline to offer Premium Economy between Sydney and Santiago, which the airline says “is very popular on all flights.”

Why did they make the change? Numbers, numbers, numbers: “We launched our direct service from Sydney to Santiago in 2012 and the demand from Australians and South Americans has given us confidence to add even more flights on the route,” Kumar said.

As to why numbers are increasing? Although Qantas might have you believe it’s down to the anti-jetlag features of their new jets, the reality is that both Chile and South America are growing in popularity with Australian and international travellers (Chile was named The Lonely Planet’s top destination to visit in 2018 and, as The Santiago Times reports, it has seen record numbers of visitors in recent years).

If it’s on your bucket list to be among them, you might also like to know that beyond Santiago, customers can connect to LATAM Airlines with Qantas codeshare services to six countries and 14 destinations across South America, including Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Also significant is that Qantas’ Dreamliner features the latest version of the airline’s Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and more legroom.

If you end up going, here are a few must-do activities:

  • Eat at a traditional steakhouse
  • See the lakes of the Patagonia national park
  • Visit the Orongo Ceremonial Village
  • Climb an active volcano
  • Sail alongside glaciers and see the fjords
  • Hike in the Atacama desert
  • Eat your body weight in empanadas

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