After two years of having suspended its services due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), LATAM Airlines Chile restarted its flights to Easter Island, also known as "Rapa Nui", with two weekly frequencies initially, on Thursdays and Saturdays. , operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with capacity for 304 passengers.
The route between Santiago de Chile (SCL) and Easter Island had up to 11 weekly flights in 2019, so it is very positive for tourism that operations can be restarted.
During all this time, LATAM maintained a weekly cargo flight to the Island, which is Chilean territory, which allowed the transport of mainly COVID-19 medicines and vaccines, although seven charter passenger flights were also carried out in coordination with the government. .
The main problem of the Island is not only its distance, it is located 3,756 kilometers from Santiago, but also that it is very isolated, the closest airport is Totegegie (GNR) in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, which is 2,600 kilometres. And the operational problem of the airport is that, at such a distance, they must take very good care of the separation between the flights, since if one, for some reason, causes the closure of the airport, there must not be any other flight close enough to have problems. of fuel to get to another place.
So when there is more than one flight in the day, the second one must depart more than 3 hours apart, so that you know well in advance that there is no problem with the airport and you can continue your trip or return to Santiago without fuel problems.
Until 2019, Mataveri International Airport (IPC) had only two air routes, to Santiago and to Papeete International Airport, in French Polynesia, both operated by LATAM, which had a monopoly on the island.
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