|La Paz, Bolivia // Photo by Freeimages.com/Thomas van den Berk|
LAN, a member of LATAM Airlines Group, will begin operating four direct flights per week between Santiago, Chile and La Paz, Bolivia beginning July 4.
The new direct flight, already on sale, will shorten the five-hour journey time of the current itinerary, which requires a stop in Iquique, to roughly three hours.
“In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the demand for flights between Santiago and La Paz," said Gonzalo Undurraga, LATAM Airlines Group's CEO in Chile, in a written release. "More than 55 percent of passengers on the existing route are destined for Santiago or La Paz respectively and have no need to stop in Iquique. The direct flight is great news for passengers and reflects our commitment to improve our services to best meet their needs."
In 2015, LAN carried more than 50,000 passengers from Santiago to La Paz via Iquique. With the new direct flight, the company expects the numbers of passengers travelling to this destination to increase by 40 percent.
LAN has connected Chile and Bolivia since 2003 via Iquique. The airline will continue to operate services via Iquique with two flights per week to Santa Cruz, using Airbus A321 aircraft – which has a greater seat capacity than the Airbus A320 currently used on the route – and a weekly flight to La Paz, maintaining the current schedule.