South America on your 2022 bucket list? Then start packing! The Chilean flag carrier LATAM is set to return to Australian skies on 29 March 2022. Flights will go on sale between Sydney and Santiago via Auckland.

The airline will operate three weekly flights between Sydney and Santiago on the fuel-efficient Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The airline is looking to increase the schedule to five flights weekly from 1 July 2022.

LATAM flight schedule between Sydney and Santiago

Here’s the current flight schedule kicking off on 29 March 2022:

FlightsFrequencyOrigin/TimeDestination/TimeDestination/Time
LA800Wednesday, Friday, SundaySydney (11:35)Auckland (16:40)Santiago (13:40)
LA801Tuesday, Thursday, SaturdaySantiago (00:40)Auckland (05:15)Sydney (09:35)

The new services will surely be welcomed by Australian-based travellers as the world begins to open up from its COVID-19 slumber.

We are extremely excited to recommence our flights between Australia/New Zealand to South America (Chile) on 29 March. We are ready to give our passengers a warm welcome back on board, reconnect them with their loved ones and showcase all the beauty and wonders that South America has to offer.

Chris Ellis, Country Manager – Oceania, LATAM Airlines

Earning Qantas Points on LATAM flights

With LATAM being a Qantas Frequent Flyer partner, Qantas members will have an additional opportunity to earn and burn their points from 29 March.

Return fares from Australia start from around $1,858 in Economy and $4,258 in Business Class, depending on date of travel. However, these prices were mostly found for travel later in the year. For dates within the next few months, prices were higher – with some Business Class flights priced in the five digits. This again emphasises the value of using frequent flyer points on premium long-haul flights.

Looking to travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane? You’ll earn the following on LATAM Airways-operated and marketed flights to Santiago:

  • Discount Economy: 1,750 Qantas Points + 30 Status Credits
  • Economy: 3,500 Qantas Points + 30 Status Credits
  • Flexible Economy: 7,000 Qantas Points + 60 Status Credits
  • Premium Economy: 7,700 Qantas Points + 60 Status Credits
  • Business: 8,750 Qantas Points + 120 Status Credits
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Using Qantas Points on LATAM Airways flights

As always, you’ll find reward seats if you’re flexible enough. The next few months were tricky, but I did manage to find return reward seats in both Economy and Business Class for May and June 2022. Though prices fluctuated considerably based on date, as well as the respective leg of the return trip. Interestingly, flying home from Santiago priced higher than the outbound trip from Australia.

For the outbound leg from Sydney to Santiago, some indicative points pricing is shown below:

  • Economy: 50,300 points + $92 in taxes
  • Business: 119,200 points + $92 in taxes

For the return leg from Santiago to Sydney, I found the following pricing:

  • Economy: 63,000 points + $129 in taxes
  • Business: 146,000 points + $129 in taxes

Getting COVID-ready for your South American holiday

For entry into Chile, non-resident foreigners must comply with the following requirements as of 1 February 2022:

  • Negative PCR test taken 72 hours before boarding. In flights with stopovers, the last boarding point is considered. In case of entering by land, it can’t be older than 72 hours from the taking of the sample. This requirement applies to every person over the age of two.
  • Complete the ‘Traveler’s Affidavit’ form online up to 48 hours before boarding, where you will provide contact, health and travel information. This form will provide a QR code as a means of verification and is available at www.c19.cl.
  • Have health insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 30,000 that includes coverage for any expenses arising from COVID-19.
  • To have completed a vaccination program (two doses), which must be validated at mevacuno.gob.cl before entering Chile. Here, travelers will request the validation and learn when it will be approved. The vaccination approval period will be conveyed to the traveler at the time of making the request – a procedure that may take up to 30 calendar days. Children under the age of six and non-resident foreigners who comply with one or more of the special requirements in Decree 102 of the Ministry of the Interior may enter without a complete vaccination program.
  • All persons over two years of age, regardless of their citizenship, must undergo a mandatory PCR test performed upon arrival to Chile, and quarantine until they receive a negative result. People who don’t have validated vaccines must undergo quarantine for seven days, even if the result of the PCR is negative. All travelers entering must comply with the mandatory tracking for seven days.

For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Travel to Chile Plan website.

And make sure you familiarise yourself with the requirements to return back to Australia.

Read more: Australia opens its borders to overseas travellers

Summing up

LATAM resuming flights between Sydney and Santiago is definitely a welcome boost to Australia’s hard-hit tourist industry. Happily, Qantas frequent flyer members now also have an additional way to earn and burn their Qantas Points.

Aside from Qantas services to Santiago, LATAM is the only other major airline to offer near-direct services between Australia and South America. Other South American airlines such as Aerlinas Argentinas left the Australian market many years ago.

Of course, international travel isn’t quite yet ‘business as usual’. So make sure you’re up to speed with entry requirements on both ends of your journey.

Are you looking to fly LATAM from 29 March 2022? Let us know in the comments below!

LATAM resumes Sydney to Santiago flights from late March was last modified: February 28th, 2022 by Daniel Sciberras