Countries that have never had a direct flight, Australia and Brazil will be able to debut a route in the first quarter of 2020 between the cities of Melbourne and Sao Paulo. The information was revealed by Brazilian officials and the Australian ambassador to Brazil, Timothy Kane, after the end of the visa requirement for Australian tourists visiting the country of South America.
According to Kane, the state of Victoria would have the interest and financial resources to propose a direct flight between the cities of Melbourne and Sao Paulo, the financial capitals of both countries. “This flight will be another tool to expand our air connection, as well as facilitate connection with other countries, such as New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China. From Shanghai and Beijing, the Chinese will be able to reach Brazil with just one connection, “said Gilson Neto, president of Embratur, a state-owned company that encourages tourism in the country – according to him, Brazil received only 60,000 of the 150 million Chinese tourists in 2018.
Australia has sent just over 40,000 tourists to Brazil last year, an increase of 24% compared to 2017. Currently, one of the most accessible routes to Oceania is through Santiago de Chile where LATAM has a direct flight to Melbourne held five times a week with a Boeing 787, plus a daily frequency to Auckland, New Zealand. Qantas flies four times a week from Sydney to the Chilean capital – the plane used on the route is the Boeing 747-400.
Since Chile and the Australian city started to be linked by direct flight, passenger movement has grown significantly – in 2018 there were 135,000 Australian tourists in Chile.
Although the two representatives did not reveal possible details of the flight, it is more likely that it will also be operated by LATAM and Qantas, partners in the Oneworld alliance. The direct distance between Sao Paulo and Melbourne is just over 13,000 km, which can in theory be covered by aircraft of both airlines. Qantas could use the Boeing 787 (14,000 km range in the -9 version) and LATAM would have the Airbus A350-900 as the most indicated aircraft, with a range of about 15,000 kilometers.
Qantas even stated in 2017 that it had an interest in flying to another cities in the Americas like Rio de Janeiro in the next decade, but with aircraft capable of covering the route. Today the airline flies only to Houston and Dallas from Sydney, and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, from Melbourne, but wishes to have a direct flight to New York, for example.
If the frequency is actually created, it will be the longest direct flight from Brazil, about 15 hours long. Currently, the longest route operated in Sao Paulo is made by Emirates Airline that connects Dubai to the Brazilian city with the Airbus A380.