LAN considering direct Sydney-Santiago flights on Boeing 787-9

By David Flynn, May 1 2015
LAN considering direct Sydney-Santiago flights on Boeing 787-9

LAN Airlines may move to direct flights between Sydney and Santiago, skipping the current Auckland stop-over, some time after the airline's new Boeing 787-9 debuts on the route in September.

The South American airline and Qantas partner could also add Melbourne and Brisbane to its Australian map, wih the smaller Boeing 787-8 shuttling passengers to Auckland and then onto Santiago.

Those are two of the possibilities opening up before LAN as it seeks a larger slice of the Australian market, even as Air New Zealand gears up to start flights to Buenos Aires at the end of the year.

“The 787-9 allows us to think of many possibilities, and a direct flight [between Sydney and Santiago] will be possible because the range on the 787-8 is not quite there," said LATAM Airlines Group managing director Asia Pacific Patricio Aylwin.

Aylwin adds that while a direct route from Sydney is under consideration, the Boeing 787 also plays into "how we configure the whole Australia network eventually, to establish other ports in Australia."

Melbourne and Brisbane are at the top of that list, Aylwin says. "We'd love to be there, with further expansion of the market, but it's not the time just yet."

When LAN's Boeing 787-9 starts flying it will carry an all-new business class cabin which will be identical to that of the Airbus A350s to be flown under the sister TAM brand by year's end to Europe and North America.

Designed by highly-regarded consulting firm Priestmangoode, the luxe business class will be a marked improvement over that of the Boeing 787-8 (below) which last week made its debut on the Sydney-Auckland-Santiago route.

Also read: New Santiago lounge for LAN, TAM, Qantas passengers

David Flynn travelled to Auckland as a guest of LAN Airlines.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Virgin Blue - Velocity Rewards

12 May 2011

Total posts 32

Don't CASA have ETOPS restrictions that prevent a twin engined plane from flying this route?

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 194

CASA prevents an Australian registered airline from flying this route with a twin. Theoretically they cannot stop a foreign airline from doing so.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 229

With regards to this ETOPS rule does it not permit any australian twin to fly this route whatsoever or will it allow ETOPS 180 (say a direct route from Sydney to Santiago flying over Auckland and Papeete?) Because if it is the former then QF won't be able to utilize B787s to SA which means they will be fully dependent on B747/A380s which may not be a good choice if the load factors are less than desirable. 

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 230

LAN might be better off keeping and reinforcing Auckland as its Pacific hub and feed traffic via its one world alliance with Qantas from all over Australia. Doesn't make much sense to create a tras-Tasman shuttle for Brisbane and Melbourne customers when Qantas has that covered for them. Besides, Auckland is so much better than Sydney as a transit port. A revamped and improved Qantas lounge in Auckland would pin it all together.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 476


Whilst Qantas has 'talked in a quiet voice' about upgraded lounges for Brisbane and Auckland - there is nothing set in stone in relation to either lounge - both of which need to be bulldozed ASAP 

01 May 2015

Total posts 1

Fantasic news Mr. Aylwin! Very Glad that LAN Airlines is making the bold and unprecedented decision to fly the modern and efficient 787-9 non-stop between the SCL hub and SYD.  LAN has 20 more 787-9s on order.  Also, LAN will not have to rely as much on Qantas' services via SCL for LATAM passengers by offering LATAM passengers flights to AKL, BNE, MEL and SYD via the SCL hub!  LAN is always ahead! 

18 Jan 2012

Total posts 13

Given QF operates 4xwk into SCL, perhaps the following schedule is likely from LA as a first step;

- 3xwk SYD-SCL non-stop (complementing the 4xwk QF services)

- 4xwk SCL-AKL-SYD

- 3xwk SCL-AKL-MEL

If CASA does not budge on the ETOPS restrictions longer-term, I wonder if QF may have to pull out of the route if an A380 is not feasible. Frequent Flyers can still upgrade on the LA service if QF keeps the current arrangament it is trialling in place on QF 321/322. Perhaps a schedule from LA as follows;

- 1xdaily SCL-SYD v.v.

- 1xdaily  SCL-AKL-BNE/MEL


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Feb 2013

Total posts 45

The LAN A350 and 787-9 will have similar, but not identical, business class cabins.

I personally prefer the A350 business cabin, a picture of which is included in this story.

The screens in the seats provide the most obvious difference point between the two cabins, there are others.

30 Sep 2011

Total posts 46

ETOPS just means a 2 engined palnes route will be longer than a 4 engine if it has the mileage nesscesssary. Lan also flyies to Tahiti & Easter island with 787's, they have been lobbying the goverment of French Polynesia for onward rights to Tokyo. The 787-9 is a route changer for some airlines. The most southerly airport capable of handling a 787 (two engined) would be in French Polynesia (Australs) then Easter Island. Quick back of the pack calculation Lan SYD-SCL would be about 2.15hours longer then QF 747. Oh the Chilean economy is still booming!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

I mentioned a couple of months ago just how much I'd love a MEL-AKL-SCL flight. Hoping very much that LAN will make it happen.

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on LAN considering direct Sydney-Santiago flights on Boeing 787-9