Emirates is moving into another key market of powerful South American airline group LATAM and adding Chile to its roster of more than 155 destinations.
The Gulf carrier will add five services a week from July 5 using a two class Boeing 777-200LR to Brazil’s Sao Paulo and then fly on to the Chilean capital of Santiago.
It aims to provide a connection between the increasingly popular South American leisure and business destination and markets such as China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and India.
Tourism to the South American destination has been rising with 5.6 million international visitors heading there in 2016, up from 4.43millon in 2015.
Chile is also home to Asian and Middle East communities that would be a source of visiting friends and relatives (VFR) traffic .
The new service will boost the Gulf carrier’s flights to Sao Paulo to 12 a week and is an addition to a daily Airbus A380 service.
The B777 will offer 38 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 264 in economy. Emirates 777s tend to be configured in the narrower 10-across configuration.
The airline says it will also be able to carry up to 14 tonnes of freight “opening up access to more global markets for Chilean exports such as fish, seafood, cherries, flowers and general perishable goods”.
“The start of our operations to Chile underlines our commitment to South America with our fourth destination on the continent and another five flights to Sao Paulo,’’ Emirates president Tim Clark said in a statement.
“We are pleased to add a destination that has been in strong demand from our customers and look forward to working with stakeholders in Chile to provide our unique product and award-winning service to passengers there.”
Flight EK263 will depart Dubai on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays at 09:05hrs local time, arriving in Sao Paulo at 17:00, before departing again at 18:30 and arriving into Santiago at 21:40 on the same day.
The return flight EK264 will depart Santiago on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays at 01:10 local time, arriving in Sao Paulo at 05:55. EK264 will depart once again from Sao Paulo at 07:45 bound for Dubai where it will arrive at 05:15 the next day.
The airline said the new service was timed to make easy connections to many Asian and Middle Eastern routes.