Wholesalers are picking up on the fares and travel to South America is set to soar. Countries like Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile have great infrastructure and offer some of the world’s wonders. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
LAN Airlines has launched a fare sale on its flights between Australia and South America, Qantas has started flying from Sydney to Santiago and Aerolineas Argentinas plans non-stop flights to Buenos Aires from this July.
LAN and Qantas each took separate Australian media contingents to South America last week and travel agent famils are sure to follow.
As LAN’s managing director Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Patricio Aylwin, put it: “South America is one of the world’s fastest growing leisure destinations, and Australia is one of the fastest growing sources of visitors. We fly to over 80 destinations in 10 South American countries and these new fares are just an indication of what we can offer. South America has never been closer.”
One lesser-known but amazing destination accessible from South America is Easter Island, the world’s most isolated settlement, known for its giant stone moai faces. Located in the middle of the Pacific, Easter Island is making a name as an eco-destination. It’s a brilliant place to visit and LAN now flies there non-stop from both Santiago and Lima, very convenient for wholesale itinerary planners.
LAN’s low-season airfare sale to South America from Australia offers return tickets from Sydney from AUD1744, including taxes.
Until 16 April 2012, LAN’s South America Sale fares are available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the signature cities of Santiago in Chile, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Lima in Peru and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Attractions accessible via these cities include the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, stunning Iguassu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil, pristine Patagonia at the base of the Andes Range in southern Chile and the wildlife of Ecuador’s remote Galapagos Islands.
LAN’s South America Sale fares are:
SYDNEY to: Rio de Janeiro AUD1744, Buenos Aires AUD1754, Santiago AUD1838, Lima AUD1854;
MELBOURNE to: Santiago AUD1863, Rio de Janeiro AUD1869, Buenos Aires AUD1878, Lima AUD1978;
BRISBANE to: Rio de Janeiro AUD1870, Buenos Aires AUD1880, Santiago AUD1964, Lima AUD1980.
Those fares are available for departures from Australia between 1 May and 31 October 2012, with return travel to Australia by 15 November. Prices are subject to availability on requested days of travel and some conditions apply. Tax components are correct at 26 March, 2012 but can change without notice.As well as the fares listed above, LAN is offering fares to other South American destinations from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and Darwin.
LAN operates daily one-stop service from Sydney to Santiago, via Auckland, with fast onward connections to Lima, Buenos Aires and Rio. Flights from Australia are operated with two class Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
Meanwhile, Qantas began flying from Sydney to Santiago last week. LAN and Qantas share codes, though there’s plenty of competition between them. Qantas will now serve Santiago rather than Buenos Aires, offering three return services a week on the Sydney-Santiago route (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday), operated by a Boeing 747 that has been refurbished with award-winning A380-style cabins, seats and inflight entertainment.
LAN Airlines will codeshare on the Qantas services while the Australian airline will continue to codeshare on LAN’s daily services between Sydney and Santiago via Auckland.
Group executive Qantas Airlines Commercial, Rob Gurney, said Qantas was delighted to launch services to Santiago.
“Santiago is one of South America’s most dynamic business centres and provides excellent connections to the rest of the continent,” Gurney said.
“There are strong ties between Australia and South America, with growing visitor numbers, mutual investment and an Australia-Chile free trade agreement in place.
“Flying to Santiago is part of Qantas’ strategy to target global gateway cities. South America’s fast-growing economies make it the perfect time to introduce this new, non-stop service to one of the region’s major hubs.
“It is also pleasing to be expanding our long-standing relationship with Chile’s national carrier, LAN. Together we will offer ten services per week between Sydney and Santiago and access to LAN’s extensive South American network.”
Argentine carrier Aerolineas Argentinas will replace its three-times-a-week service to Buenos Aires via Auckland with non-stop service to Buenos Aires in July, increasing to five weekly from December 2012.