British Airways new direct route between London Heathrow and Santiago, Chile, celebrated its first flight overnight. Santiago has become the airline’s, and the UK’s, lengthiest non-stop long-haul route, taking 14 hours 40 minutes, nearly an hour more than the current longest flight of 13 hours 50 minutes service to Buenos Aires.
BA251 departed at 22:00hrs (GMT) last night to kick-start the four flights per week service. BA will operate the airline’s newest aircraft on the route – the four-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, complete with new First cabin.
Santiago is the latest destination in Latin America to join British Airways’ route network. The airline recently launched new services to San Jose in Costa Rica and Lima in Peru. In addition, it also operates flight to Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways said when the route was announced in May 2016, “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region.”
“The Chilean economy has been steadily growing, with increasing trade links to Europe so this new direct route will respond to the need for travel between the two Capital cities to do business face-to-face.
“Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travellers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.” – British Airways CEO, Alex Cruz
More about Chile
There’s something for everyone in Chile as a destination. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy skiing and snowboarding around Santiago, trekking around the Andes or water-sports along the extensive coast-line.
Thanks to the country’s natural wonders, from the driest desert in the world, to the lakes and glaciers, and the huge swathes of national park there’s many different animals and birds to be seen.
Chile also has a rich culture to explore, from Easter Island with its Moai statues to Valparaiso’s old quarter, which has UNESCO heritage site status. The city of Santiago is also fascinating and the region’s food and drink, especially the wine, is renowned. And thanks to all that coastline and the islands around Chile, there’s plenty of beach holidays for travellers wanting a relaxing break.
More details about the new Heathrow/Santiago route…
The new Santiago flight will depart from Heathrow on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 22:00 and arrive in Santiago at 09:40 local time the following day. The return flight will depart at 18:45 arriving back in London at 12:05 local the following day.
Did you know? The distance of the new route from Heathrow to Santiago is approximately 11,645km, while Buenos Aires is 11,083km.
Although this is British Airways’ first direct flight to Santiago, the airline previously operated there as a ‘tag-on’ from Buenos Aires between 1993 and 2000.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has 216 seats and is the most technologically advanced aircraft in British Airways fleet.