The first ever direct flight between Santiago and Melbourne landed at Melbourne recently, heralding a new stage in the growing relationship between Chile and Victoria.

The Victorian Government has partnered with South America’s largest airline, LATAM Airlines, to operate three services per week.

LATAM is now one of 31 international airlines flying directly out of Victoria, boosting tourism and trade.

This new service between Victoria and Latin America will grow the strong business ties in international education, mining equipment, technology and other services.

Around 175,000 international students currently study in Victoria each year – almost one third of Australia’s international student population.

The new LATAM service will grow this number and encourage even more students from Chile to choose Victoria, which is up 51 per cent over the five years to 2016.