Airfares to South America Hit Record Lows

If you’ve always wanted to visit South America, there has never been a better time! Flights between Australia and South America have traditionally been expensive. But, to the delight of travellers, this appears to be changing.

In late 2015, Air New Zealand launched flights from Auckland to Buenos Aires. This effectively broke the monopoly of the Qantas/LAN partnership. In order to entice Aussie travellers across to Air New Zealand, the Kiwi airline has been heavily discounting economy fares to South America. As a result, both Qantas and LAN have also lowered their prices. There is also speculation that direct flights from Australia to Peru could launch in the near future.

Air New Zealand is currently offering sale fares from various Australian cities to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, for just over $1,100 return! Sale fares are also available to Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lima, Peru. Flights to Buenos Aires will route via Auckland with Air New Zealand, with onward connections on Aerolineas Argentinas.

Although this particular sale ends on 19 April, our members are hopeful that this record-low pricing is a sign of consistently lower fares to come.

I was initially disappointed with NZ’s startup pricing on the AKL-EZE route, but hopefully this is the start of a gentle price war with LAN/QF.

Not to be outdone, LAN and Qantas both launched flash sales of their own. Both airlines offered flights to Santiago de Chile and Lima for under $1,300 return.

LAN is now offering similarly low-priced (albeit slightly higher) fares from Australia to various destinations in South America, including Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Travel on QF metal to SCL should be allowed. e.g. SYD-EZE is $1215 return. MEL-GIG or SYD-GRU is $1335 return. Travel from 8 May – 24 June 2016.

Qantas are also offering reasonable fares to SCL and LIM. For example, SYD-LIM is now $1298 return.

This particular sale ends on 11 April.  But there may be others in the future, so keep an eye out!

Some great premium cabin fares are also available. For example, Qantas Premium Economy fares to both Chile and Peru have been on sale for under $2,300 return. Business class fares on both Qantas and Air New Zealand have been on sale for well under $5,000 return.

With the Olympic Games coming up in Rio de Janeiro, it’s an exciting time to visit Brazil. Unfortunately the Air New Zealand sale fares don’t coincide with the Rio games, but there is one more reason to visit Brazil now. Australians typically need to apply for a tourist visa before travelling to Brazil. However, thanks to the Olympics, this requirement is being temporarily waived for Australian tourists visiting between 1 June and 18 September, 2016. This visa-free period does coincide with the Air New Zealand sale fares.

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]