Thomson Airways Inaugurates Direct Flight from Gatwick (London) to Liberia

  • The B 787- 800 Dreamliner aircraft is one of the largest and most modern; the flight arrived completely full.
  • This effort is complemented by the participation of the ICT in the WTM, a world-renowned UK event.
  • This weekend alone, the Daniel Oduber International Airport received three inaugural flights.

November 4, 2015 – Thomson Airways inaugurated its first weekly flight between Gatwick-Liberia. The aforementioned flights will be conducted on a B 787- 800 Dreamliner, a highly modern and large aircraft, with a capacity of up to 291 passengers, which arrived for the first time in Costa Rica. The frequency of the flights will be once a week, departing from Gatwick.

Gustavo Alvarado, Chief of Tourism Management for the ICT, assured that thanks to this new connection, we strengthen our commercial ties with one of the strongest tourism markets in the world as is such the Old World, which represents the second tourist source market of relevance for our country, only after the US.

“This new connection is a reflection of the effort carried out as part of the Strategy to Attract Airlines, which complements the advertising efforts that we are jointly executing at this time, with the participation of the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Mauricio Ventura, and 34 Costa Rican tourist businesses that attended the WTM event which is taking place in London, to promote Costa Rica in the European market,” emphasized Alvarado.

This important announcement is in addition to Southwest Airlines operations, which inaugurated a connection between Houston-Liberia. They provide a daily flight on a 737-700 aircraft with a capacity of up to 143 passengers.

Likewise, on November 7th, the Baltimore-Liberia route will be launched and will fly on Saturdays on a 737-700 aircraft with a capacity of up to 143 passengers.

“Just seven months ago we witnessed Southwest’s Baltimore-San Jose inaugural flight and two weeks ago, we inaugurated the Houston-San Jose route, fortunately the good news will continue for our country, thanks to the new operations in both airports,” according to Ventura.

In addition, the renowned Alaska Airlines launched its official flights to Costa Rica. The airline will fly four times a week from Los Angeles to San Jose beginning October 31st, and four times a week from Los Angelesto Liberia, Guanacaste beginning November 1st.

In order to run these routes, Alaska will use the most recent Boeing 737 models, with a capacity that varies between 124 and 181 seats. The aforementioned airline is the seventh largest in the US.

Costa Rica makes a historical record in airline arrivals

Costa Rica has made a historical record in an increase of attracting airlines, which has generated new connections with our main tourist source markets.

Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, emphasized that this dynamism is reflected positively in both airports due to the implementation of the Strategy to Attract Airlines, which was devised by the ICT and that thanks to the joint efforts made with concessionaires of the airports and airline consultants, is why more airlines make a commitment to our country, increasing their frequency and including new connections to destinations that are priority for Costa Rica.

“This year has been extremely productive in terms of airlines, with five new airlines confirming their operations in Costa Rica, the inclusion of nine routes that connect our country to destinations of great importance that previously lacked an airline connection, and an increase in frequency from six airlines, which strengthens the existing connections,” Ventura outlined.

César Jaramillo, Financial Director of Coriport affirmed: “The airlines are seeing the potential for growth that the destination has, and in addition to the quality of service and the cutting-edge infrastructure of the new terminal in Liberia, it helps us maintain a good reputation abroad; the proof of that is the arrival for the first time this week of important airlines such as Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Thomson Airways”.

For his part, Rafael Mencía, CEO of Aeris, highlighted: “We are very pleased with the opening of new flights to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, for example, Southwest’s daily flights from Baltimore and Houston. Likewise, in the case of Alaska Airlines, after 27 years this airline decided to take the gamble with Latin America, selecting Costa Rica as their second destination since Mexico, and their gamble was such that they included routes to both airports, with four nonstop flights a week departing from Los Angeles”.

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, an analysis that could take five years or longer to evaluate the cost-benefit, the profitability of the new route, and consistency with a strategy for growth is necessary and required, which is why factors such as the cost of fuel, the capacity of the aircraft and the demand and safety of the destination are decisive in order to take the plunge.

“This is an effort that is made on a daily basis, and because of that, more good news will come for our country. We will continue to network in order to attract more airlines from our tourist source markets with the goal of increasing the amount of available seats and providing the necessary facilities so that people who are interested in visiting our country can count on flights that will encourage them to travel to Costa Rica; not to mention the benefits this will create for foreign trade, thanks to the cargo transport capacity that these aircrafts have,”, emphasized Ventura.

Currently, 17 airlines fly to the Juan Santamaria International Airport, providing direct connections with regular flights to 46 destinations around the world. As for the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport there are 10 airlines that fly in, which facilitates regular flights to 24 destinations worldwide.

This is how our country provides flights departing from our main international airports to 70 destinations worldwide.

Source: Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT)

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