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Qantas' Sydney-Santiago flights are in for an upgrade from late June 2020 with the airline swapping its four-times-weekly Boeing 747 service to a daily Boeing 787-9 flight.
The Dreamliner comes fitted with Qantas' newest and best business class seat, which transforms into a fully-flat bed and offers direct aisle access for every passenger:
Executive Traveller review: Qantas Boeing 787 business class
That's a significant upgrade to today's Boeing 747 experience which isn't as spacious, placing as many as seven business class passengers in each row, with a middie seat to boot (at least, on the lower deck).
Qantas will also continue offering premium economy on its Santiago flights, with the Boeing 787 bringing with it a cosy four-row, 28-seat cabin arranged in a 2-3-2 layout.
While the seats themselves are an upgrade to the older-style Boeing 747 premium economy cabin, a generous recline makes for limited legroom for the passenger behind.
Executive Traveller review: Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy
This switcheroo will come as Qantas takes delivery of six additional Dreamliner aircraft while also gradually retiring its older Boeing 747s, which will all leave the airline's fleet by the end of 2020.
Speaking with Executive Traveller at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul earlier this year, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce explained how the Boeing 787 would be a better fit for Santiago than the Boeing 747, before formal plans were announced.
Compared to the Boeing 747, “it’s a smaller aircraft, the Boeing 787, so it allows you to build up the frequency (to Santiago). At the moment, we don’t have daily flights… so for us, (flying the Dreamliner) to South America isn’t going to be a problem.”
Qantas' Oneworld alliance partner LATAM also flies between Sydney and Santiago with daily flights, on which Qantas codeshares and will continue to do so, but with a detour via Auckland in each direction.
From October 27 2019, three of LATAM's seven weekly Sydney-Santiago flights will move to non-stop services, with the remaining flights continuing via Auckland. LATAM also flies non-stop from Melbourne to Santiago up to five times per week.
Santiago is a major South American hub for LATAM, from which Qantas passengers can connect onto a variety of codeshare flights to places such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Lima in Peru, and more.