MIAMI — LATAM Airlines announced today that it will operate a new, non-stop service between Santiago de Chile and Melbourne, Australia, from October 5, 2017.

The oneworld alliance member plans to serve the new route three times a week with Boeing 787-9s, and it will become the first non-stop link between Melbourne and Latin America, LATAM said in a statement.

The westbound Santiago-Melbourne leg – measuring over 5,900 nautical miles in distance with a flight time of approximately 15 hours – is set to become LATAM’s longest non-stop flight ever.

Currently, LATAM serves a daily flight to Sydney via Auckland with 787-9s, while Qantas flies to Santiago non-stop four times a week with Boeing 747-400s, with an additional frequency added during peak periods.

“With the Melbourne service, we are not only reinforcing LATAM’s commitment to Oceania and the Asia-Pacific, but also to offering unrivaled connectivity to, from and within Latin America,” said Enrique Cueto, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group.

Data from Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics show LATAM transported about 79,400 passengers on its flights into Australia in 2015, with an average load factor of 83.7%. The carrier’s outbound flights had 77,720 passengers, with an average load factor of 81.7%.

With the new direct Melbourne service, LATAM estimates that it will transport an additional 75,000 passengers between the two continents each year.