Trans-Tasman traffic is a welcome bonus for LAN's Boeing 787

By David Flynn, September 10 2015
Trans-Tasman traffic is a welcome bonus for LAN's Boeing 787

South American airline LAN didn't set out to win a chunk of the competitive trans-Tasman business travel market, but there's no denying that its Auckland stop-over en route from Sydney to Santiago has won over many passengers.

The combination of keenly-priced fares and a smooth-riding Boeing 787 Dreamliner makes an appealing alternative to the flights offered by Oneworld partner Qantas as well as Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.

"Our main focus is definitely Santiago and South America – it's where we have the strength and the network, it's the reason we are here" Patricio Aylwin, managing director of Asia Pacific for LATAM, tells Australian Business Traveller

"But what comes across the Tasman is welcome, we love the Tasman (traffic) and we will fight for it."

Aylwin is aware of the unique position which LAN holds on the trans-Tasman route – a position with both upsides and downsides.

"We have a good product, but we do not have the frequency (of flights) that other airlines have, and the itinerary is the time it is" he admits, referencing a 6am departure on the return leg from Auckland to Sydney. "So we price accordingly and are competitive in our pricing, and I think we do a decent job at that."

Sweet deals plus a Dreamliner

Looking at Sydney-Auckland business class return fares for the end of October, for example, LAN comes in as low as $778 against Qantas' $1,055 Business Sale fares or mid-range $1,609 Business Saver deals, with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand around the $1,399 mark. 

Those prices will seem even sweeter towards the end of this month when LAN upgrades the Sydney-Auckland-Santiago route from the current Boeing 787-8 to a Boeing 787-9 with an all-new cabin and seats.

The 30 wide seats convert to lie-flat beds with a decent amount of personal space. 

Each seat gets it own 15.4 inch video screen, with AC and USB ports to keep your travel tech charged up en route.

Also read: LAN considers direct Sydney-Santiago flights on Boeing 787-9

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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.

the 787 Dreamliner is such a good aircraft and business class looks very comfortable. prices are very sweet.

Can't wait, nice addition.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 341

I can't stand the B787... Think it's a truly horrible aircraft 

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 8

Aww Jason,  Thats so cute.  It is amazing when you bring up your profile how often you bash the 787.  In fact, you did it 2x in less that a minute today.  Well played.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 341

Well I'm consistent

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 38

Well FlyGuy, I'll add to the contingent that is not a fan of the 787 then. Though I don't necessarily think the aircraft is horrible per se, it's the tight configurations that basically every airline has adopted as standard. If you're always sitting up front, sure it's fine, and you can praise it all you want; but for the rest of us in the back of the bus, it is a pretty mediocre international experience.


And I also agree, I don't get all the positive hype whenever a 787 is deployed; why is that a good thing? I don't think the flights are necessarily any smoother or the air is better. The larger windows are definitely cool, but most flights I've been on there's one window where the 'shades' aren't working and that window remains bright or dark throughout the entire flight (worse when it's broken so it's light the whole way). Would anyone care to elaborate why they're actually excited when a route is replaced by a 787 over a 777/747/A380/A330? I'm curious what your reasoning is.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 172

I love how you can book Qantas codeshare over on the LAN 787 to AKL and back on the Emirates A380 and earne the full points and Status credits.  Certainly better than flying the B738 of Qantas.

11 Dec 2014

Total posts 10

the current 787-8 already has fully flat seats so there will be no change on this front. It's a newer seat and a different layout but both seats are fully lie flat

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Gold

04 Jul 2014

Total posts 130

I don't know where to find that $778 figure you came to.. All I can find is $1400 return a the end of October :(

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 2

$780 odd is the standard price year-round, and can easily be achieved with advance bookings.

There's still some availability throughout October and November - but as always, it's entirely dependent on your travel dates.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2015

Total posts 17

I have flown up front on the A340 great price and service The only drawback is the early start from Auckland.


01 Aug 2012

Total posts 30

Is this editorial content or paid-for advertising?

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 467

I would not worry about the early start.Have done the old QF40 way back in 1990 when it was a 767-200 on the same sector and that was a 7:45am departure on my first trip to New Zealand.I am sure this would be an improvement for those of us not into little 737's or if one goes on NZ A320's on the same sector.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Sep 2015

Total posts 2

I have flown Lan business on the A340 a couple of times and just loved their product. Would love to try the dreamliner with them if the opportunity comes up.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

13 Sep 2015

Total posts 8

Great news! Now how about looking to fly into Brisbane?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 259

I'm looking at flying them FRA-MAD next year, Very cheap J class price compared to the European airlines, and the flight is in a proper J seat on a widebody! Actually, I must book that soon...

Looking forward to trying the AC MLL in FRA too (or the Sakura Lounge).

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