THE launch of LATAM Airlines’ thrice weekly Melbourne-Santiago flights last year (TD 12 Oct) has seen the carrier’s passenger volumes between Australia and South America surge by 40%, according to LATAM vice president of sales, Nicolas Goldstein.
Goldstein is currently in Australia, and told Travel Daily the airline is constantly evaluating new routes and boosting capacity.
However he wouldn’t be drawn on any potential increase in LATAM flights into Australia, which currently include thrice-weekly MEL services, a daily SYD flight to Santiago via Auckland and a codeshare with Air Tahiti Nui which connects over Papeete.
A key focus for LATAM is its growing South American network, providing simple one-stop connections to key destinations such as Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Buenos Aires.
He noted the strength of traffic in both directions on the airline’s Australian routes, with a particularly strong flow of South American students into Australia.
Growth is certainly on the agenda for LATAM which has this year launched new services to Tel Aviv, Rome, Boston, Lisbon and Las Vegas along with a host of South American destinations.
Goldstein said LATAM was also currently in negotiations with American Airlines regarding a North American Joint Business Agreement, along with a similar IAG Group Europe pact which could add 87 new ports.
Goldstein is pictured in Sydney yesterday with LATAM regional gm Oceania, Valeria Alvano.