British Airways is to start direct flights to Santiago in Chile from Heathrow next January.

It will be the only carrier offering direct flights to Santiago out of the UK. At 14 hours 40 minutes, it will also be BA’s longest long-haul flight from Heathrow.

The airline will offer four flights a week on its newest aircraft, the four-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, from January 3, 2017.

New chairman and chief executive, Alex Cruz, said: “We are very excited about this. When we looked at the substantial number of customers travelling to Chile every year via Madrid, we decided it was time for us to offer this service. This is yet one more destination with a direct service that has not been served in recent times from Heathrow.”

To mark the launch, BA is offering a special fare of £749 return in its economy cabin World Traveller, £1,299 in its premium economy class World Traveller Plus and £1,999 in  business class seats Club World.

BA is taking delivery of 21 Dreamliners in total – five were delivered last year, 11 join the fleet this year and a further five are on order for 2018. They feature a new First cabin with eight suites, including additional storage areas and a 23-inch fixed screen.

The new route follows the launch of services to San Jose in Costa Rica and Lima in Peru this year.  The airline also offers flights to Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina.