By Tamarindo News Staff
At the beginning of November, Daniel Oduber International Airport received three inaugural flights.
Costa Rica registered an historic rise in the number of airlines that have decided to fly here, and these flights have generated new connections with principal tourist markets.
Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, emphasized that this upswing is positively reflected at San Jose’s Juan Santamaría and at Liberia´s Daniel Oduber airports. This comes as the result of strategy implemented by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
Ventura also added that joint efforts with airport concessionaires and advisors related to airlines entice more airlines coming to our country to increase their frequencies and assimilate new connections to priority destinations in Costa Rica.
“This year has been highly fruitful in terms of airlines. Five new ones have confirmed their operations in Costa Rica; nine new routes have been incorporated to link our country to important destinations that previously lacked air connections. Six airlines have raised their frequencies, strengthening, thus, the existing connections,” Ventura highlighted.
César Jaramillo, the Financial Manager of Coriport, the company that manages Liberia International Airport, stated that: “Airlines witness the potential growth of Costa Rica as a destination, which, combined with the service quality and the innovative infrastructure of the new terminal in Liberia, provides us with a very good prestige abroad. All this can be proved by this week´s inaugural arrival of important carriers, such as Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Thomson Airways.”
For his part, Rafael Mencía, Chief Executive Officer of Aeris, the company responsible for managing the San Jose International Airport, said that: “We are very pleased with the opening of new flights to Juan Santamaría International Airport, with the daily Southwest flights to Baltimore and Houston. Additionally, in the case of Alaska Airlines, after 27 years, the airline decided to bet on Latin America, making Costa Rica its second destination after Mexico. Aeris’ bet was so resolute that they have incorporated routes in both airports, with four weekly nonstop flights from Los Angeles.
New routes to Costa Rica
Alaska Airlines flies for the first time to both Costa Rican International Airports.
The airline has recently launched its official flights to Costa Rica, flying four times per week the Los Angeles-San José route, beginning October 31, and another four times per week the Los Angeles-Liberia, Guanacaste route, since November 1.
Operating on these routes, Alaska Airlines uses its latest aircraft models, Boeing 737, which seat from 124 to 181 passengers.
This airline is the seventh largest in the United States.
Southwest Airlines increases operations in Costa Rica with four new routes, added to its previous one route from Baltimore- San José.
This American airline has chosen this country as its first venture destination in Central America, and its initiation was very strong with these four additional routes going into both airports.
Southwest Airlines has inaugurated the Houston- Liberia connection. This is a daily flight from November 2, in a 737-700 aircraft, with capacity for 143 passengers. Likewise, on November 7, the airline opened the Baltimore- Liberia route, which flies on Saturdays in a 737-700 aircraft, with capacity for 143 passengers.
According to Ventura, “Only seven months ago we witnessed the Southwest inaugural Baltimore-San José route, and very recently, we opened the Houston – San Jose one. Good news will continue for our country, thanks to the operations in both airports.”
Thomson Airways will have the first nonstop London-Liberia flight with the Gatwick-Liberia flight launched on November 2.
Said operation will be carried out in a B 787- 800 Dreamliner aircraft, a highly modern and large-size plane that seats 291 passengers and comes to Costa Rica for the first time. The frequency of this flight will be once a week.
Costa Rica: a magnet for airlines
Flying to a new destination is one of the most important decisions for an airline to make. According to Ventura, such decisions necessarily require more than five years of analysis and assessments regarding the cost and benefit relationship, the profitability of the new route, and the consistency of growth. Therefore, factors such as fuel costs, aircraft capacity, demand and security of the destination are decisive in taking such a significant step.
“This is an ongoing effort and that is why more positive news will come for our country. The efforts continue to attract more airlines from our main tourism markets with the goal of increasing the quantity of available seats and providing the facilities so that people with high interest in our country can count on airline connections to help them visit Costa Rica. Besides, foreign trade will benefit thanks to the capacity of the cargo transport of said aircrafts,” Ventura emphasized.
Nowadays, 17 airlines fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport, providing nonstop connections with regular flights to 46 destinations worldwide. Additionally, 10 airlines fly to Daniel Oduber International Airport, which facilitates the operations of 24 destinations around the globe.
In total, Costa Rica offers flight connections from both international airports to 70 destinations all around the world.