It’s Official: LATAM Will Link South America & Israel As Of December 2018

Last November, LATAM announced their intentions to add 3x weekly flights to Tel Aviv by the end of 2018. At the time the route was still subject to regulatory approval, and no schedule had been published. It represented quite a development, given that it would be the only nonstop flight between South America and Israel.

This route is now official, and bookable. LATAM Chile will offer 3x weekly flights between Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv starting December 12, 2018. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

LA712 Santiago to Sao Paulo departing 4:00PM arriving 9:05PM [Mon, Wed, Sat]
LA712 Sao Paulo to Tel Aviv departing 11:00PM arriving 4:05PM (+1 day) [Mon, Wed, Sat]
LA713 Tel Aviv to Sao Paulo departing 6:20PM arriving 5:35AM (+1 day) [Tue, Thu, Sun]
LA713 Sao Paulo to Santiago departing 7:30AM arriving 10:45AM [Mon, Wed, Fri]

The entire route will cover a distance of ~8,200 miles, with the first segment covering a distance of ~1,600 miles, and the second segment covering a distance of ~6,600 miles. As far as the longhaul segments go, the eastbound flight is blocked at 13hr5min, while the westbound flight is blocked at 15hr15min.

LATAM intends to use a Boeing 787-8 for the route, featuring 30 business class seats and 217 economy class seats. In business class, LATAM has fully flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, which are comfortable, though not ideal if traveling alone on such a long flight.

While the flight is on sale if paying cash, I’m not yet seeing any award seats available, unfortunately. I imagine this will change over time. Once award seats are available, a one-way ticket would cost you 60,000 American AAdvantage miles in economy, or 90,000 American AAdvantage miles in business class, with no fuel surcharges.

It’s great to see the amount of new service to Tel Aviv. Just recently we’ve seen Air India add flights from Delhi, and as of last year Cathay Pacific added flights from Hong Kong. All of this puts EL AL under further pressure, as they’re forced to compete more aggressively in a market that they previously dominated.

Comments

  1. I used to view these sorts of seats as out-of-date relative to newer staggered or reverse herringbones, but I’ve come to like them again. They lack privacy and guaranteed aisle access, but if you’re travelling with a partner, that’s much less of a problem. In addition, they feel more spacious with not having to crunch your feet into a small cubby when laying flat.

  2. @Justin, I agree. Flew Cathay J and Turkish J nearly back-to-back, and while I definitely appreciated the privacy of the CX seat, the TK seat had way more room to stretch out.

  3. I know what you mean, Justin. When I travel with a friend or partner, I much prefer these types of seats with a window versus two adjacent reverse herringbone seats in the middle section of J w/out a window.

  4. I flew my parents in Swiss J and Turkish J and they liked Turkish better. At first I was surprised but they commented on how much room Turkish had and it all made sense to me. I guess most people fee the same way in the end.

  5. @Joey: Exactly. I used to fly business mainly for work, so was travelling solo and didn’t really notice. Now, I’m paying for my own J-class for leisure while travelling with my partner and on ultra-longhaul flights we often find ourselves sitting separately since we both like window seats. ie. upcoming on Etihad we’re both taking the private “true” window seats. Recently on EVA, we both took windows sitting one in front of each other and similarly on Asiana…

  6. Hi,

    I enjoy reading your blog, but I wondered whether once in a while you can also review coach flights as that is what most of us fly in? And it is mostly reviews of coach flights that I am looking for.

  7. Interesting that they didn’t choose Buenos Aries because of their high Jewish population. I do have lots of Jewish friends in Rio so they are super excited about this because only having to go through Sao Paulo is much easier than schlepping up to Miami or Europe for a connection.

  8. @Alex these are two incredibly different markets. First off, as the only direct flight to Israel they will have a fair amount of connecting traffic from all over South America. Additionally, South America is a popular tourist/backpacker destination for young Israelis because it is a relatively cheap place to vacation (same reason Thailand and Southeast Asia is also popular amongst young Israeli tourists). Also, now that there is a direct flight and travelers can avoid connecting in the US or Europe there may also be an increase in tourists.

    I’m not very familiar with LATAM’s DC route but needless to say none of the above was particularly true for that route.

  9. Strange they did not make some of the flights start from Buenos Aires, which has the highest jewish population in the southern hemisphere!

  10. @Canes_1998, they most likely chose Santiago over Buenos Aires since LATAM is based out of Santiago.

    @Lucky, it is also remarkable that this LATAM route is the only Oneworld direct flight from Israel to anywhere in the Americas. For one of the three major airline alliances to not offer until now direct service on any alliance partner to Tel Aviv from North and South America is astonishing. Star Alliance has 4. 2 from United (EWR, SFO) and 2 from Air Canada (YYZ, YYL). While Skyteam has Delta from JFK.

  11. @Canes_1998 & @Carlos Rabinovich: The flight would go to Sao Paulo anyway.
    So those from Buenos Aires can take a flight to Sao Paulo and connect to Tel Aviv.
    LATAM has 5 daily flights from Buenos Aires to Sao Paulo, and one of those departs from Aeroparque and arrives in time to have a good connection.

  12. El Al flew to São Paulo from 2009 to 2011 (3x weekly on a 777) but axed the flight due to poor performance.

  13. Those seats are comfortable, I never intended to try them or fly with Latam..but as QR is leasing this aircraft from Latam I was surprised to try it from MUC to DOH..I was not happy at first as I expected to have the herringbone seat..I can verify..when flying alone and you want your peace than definitely a no go.. inspite of the spacious length..I was forced to have a small talk inorder to maintain decency..as I had an aisle seat..I feel exposed to the aisle and to my neighbour…so I only recommend it for couples or families…

  14. Can flights bound for TLV fly over Libya or Sudan? If not, it might have to take a roundabout route.

  15. I do not want to go the political line..but I find it is time that flights to TLV, from everywhere they my come, ..should be allowed to fly the shortest route as possible..Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and yes even Iran…it is time they leave the aviation world out from their political fencing…El Al should be able to fly freely like other carriers in this world..segregating Israelis or with Jewish confessions from travelling certain airlines are not only obsolete in my eyes..but should not be tolerated at all…everyone…whatever citizenship or confessions…should be treated equally… airline aviation should be for everyone and should not discriminate others…

    so enough of the serious matters…I need more of that nice petit-fours from the GF report..it will calms me down..tea anyone !?…

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