QANTAS recently changed the destination for its non-stop Sydney (SYD) - South America service from Buenos Aires - Ezeiza (EZE) to Santiago (SCL) with the last flight from EZE departing on 25Mar12 and the first flight to the Chilean capital arriving the following day on 26Mar12. The new service will initially be operated thrice-weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays using 747-400's with the Australian carrier aiming for daily service "sooner rather than later".
American actor and QANTAS spokesman John Travolta arrived at SCL in his 707-138B (which was originally delivered to QANTAS in 1964) to participate in the route opening ceremony.
The Australian carrier explained that the change was due to an internal restructuring but the decision was made shortly after the Argentine aviation authority, ANAC, rejected a request by the airline to codeshare with TAM from Buenos Aires. The Argentine aviation publication Aviacion News opined that QANTAS regarded codesharing into Brazil as essential for the success of the EZE route whereas the Argentine government saw this as a threat to national carrier Aerolineas Argentinas' own route to Australia.
QANTAS will codeshare with its oneworld partner LAN through the latter's Santiago hub with connections throughout Latin America. However, the two airlines will compete with each other to a certain extent as LAN flies from SCL to SYD via Auckland (AKL) six-times weekly.