South American Connection – Qantas Heads to Santiago
Qantas has deployed its recently refurbished Boeing 747-400 on the Santiago – Sydney route this week in what was the first of a three time weekly service to the Chilean capital. The flight also marks the withdraw of services to Buenos Aires. Qantas has advised that this is part of their strategy to “target global gateway cities”, Qantas will continue to codeshare on LAN’s flights from Sydney to Santiago via Auckland, offering 10 services per week between the city pairs.
For travellers it should mean improved connections to the rest of South America as Santiago is the hub for Oneworld partner LAN. LAN is one of the largest airlines in South America and is currently awaiting finalisation of its merger with Brazilian based TAM airlines with a fleet size of over 240 aircraft and another 220 on order, including Boeing 787s scheduled for delivery later in the year.
Qantas has aligned the product on the 747 to that of its flagship Airbus A380 and Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience, Alison Webster said that “customers in Business now enjoy new cabin mood lighting and the award-winning fully-flat Skybed designed by Marc Newson and our Economy customers also receive a new level of comfort with a custom designed seat featuring a unique footrest net and ergonomic cushioning and a self-service snack bar.” The newly-configured aircraft are fitted with 58 Business, 36 Premium Economy and 270 Economy seats.
Those transiting or awaiting flights who are Emerald or Sapphire level members of Oneworld or travellers in Business will have access to LAN’s Neruda and Mistral VIP Salons lounges featuring a Roederer NV champagne which is bottled and labelled exclusively for the airline.