Have you ever thought about flying to Easter Island? Or from Australia to Chile? How about Brazil to South Africa? Well, with its recent route between São Paulo and Johannesburg, LATAM Airlines now flies across two of the planet’s three southern oceans, and one of only a few airlines to connect the Southern Hemisphere. Based officially in Santiago, Chile, LATAM was born in 2012 from the merger of Chile’s LAN Airlines and TAM of Brazil. While the name and livery aren’t the most original creations in the world, LATAM competes directly with Panama’s Copa Airlines and that other multinational behemoth Avianca of Colombia for the millions of passengers coming to and through Latin America, hence the name and logo, a stylized map of South America.
LATAM’s main intercontinental hubs are Santiago, São Paulo, and Lima, but the airline operates huge domestic networks in several countries throughout the region. Still, it’s the far-flung destinations that make LATAM so interesting: LATAM sends its brand-spanking-new Boeing 787 Dreamliners to Frankfurt via Madrid and Sydney with a stop in Auckland. Flights from Santiago to mysterious Easter Island continue on to Papeete, capital of Tahiti. New York and Los Angeles are connected to both Lima and Santiago, while Miami and even Orlando get served from capital cities across South America.
The addition of Johannesburg to LATAM’s portfolio expands the network to near-global status and offers an alternative to South African Airways’ 11 weekly flights between South Africa and Brazil, a particularly useful option for OneWorld Alliance frequent fliers. In fact, combined with the route networks of American Airlines, Spain’s Iberia, British Airways, and Qantas of Australia, OneWorld flies more people to and from Latin America than any other alliance.
Next time you’re feeling adventurous, take LATAM up on one of its flight deals across the Southern Seas. Your friends will think you’re the coolest person they know!