Costa Rican airline Nature Air to resume operations

February 2, 2018

The Civil Aviation Administration (DGAC) has lifted its temporary suspension of the Costa Rican airline Nature Air, imposed Jan. 11. The suspension came in the wake of the fatal crash of a Nature Air plane on Dec. 31, 2017.

According to Civil Aviation Director Enio Cubillo, the airline has resolved the personnel shortages and other issues, including schedule and route changes, that had prompted the suspension.

Normal operations will resume on Monday, Feb. 5.

During the suspension, Nature Air worked closely with the DGAC, according to a statement from the company.

“These last weeks have been very meticulous, but very collaborative, all with the purpose of maintaining high-quality standards for national tourism and aviation,” Nelson Vega, Nature Air’s General Manager, said in a statement.

“Sales have slightly decreased, but we trust that they’ll increase and we’ll recover. I’ll take advantage of this opportunity to thank Costa Rica, our clients and commercial associates, given that they have expressed solidarity toward the business,” he added.

Vega told the daily La Nación that the company ended January with $1.2 million in losses. The daily also reported that Nature Air CEO Alex Khajavi sent a letter to President Luis Guillermo Solís on Jan. 26 asking for a meeting to discuss the suspension and describing the company’s situation as “critical.”

According to the daily, the letter argued that “this situation affects not only the 80 families that depend on our company, but also the productive chain that depends on the business of the 8,000 local and foreign tourists we have affected by suspending our operations.”

A crash just after noon New Year’s Eve killed everyone aboard a Nature Air Cessna 208 Caravan. Ten U.S. citizens and two Costa Rican crew members flying to San José from Punta Islita on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast died in the crash, which took place when the plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff.

An initial investigation suggested the high winds in the area as a likely factor.

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