CONTINENTAL and United airlines will each launch a new flight to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, capital of the northwestern province of Guanacaste, tomorrow – three days after United officially made its last flight to Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela, northwest of San José.
United’s Wednesday flight to Juan Santamaría from Los Angeles was its final trip to that airport, according to the daily La República. However, the airline will continue service to Liberia until April with the addition of a new flight between Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Liberia, beginning tomorrow.
The flight will leave Chicago at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Liberia at 1:45 p.m.; a return flight will leave Liberia at 2:40 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:54 p.m. Both flights will be available only on Saturdays and will be aboard an Airbus 320 aircraft with 12 first-class and 126 economy seats.
United’s flights between Chicago and Liberia will operate on a trial basis until April, when the company will suspend all service to Costa Rica, general manager Fred Thome told La República. At that time, the airline will conduct a study to evaluate demand and decide whether to continue operations in Liberia.
United decided to discontinue its Los Angeles-San José flight because it was generating little profit, Thome said.
Though Costa Rica is an attractive travel destination, competition has forced the airline to cut its ticket prices in half while fuel prices have shot up, he added. United declared bankruptcy three years ago and has since been undergoing restructuring. The company could emerge from its financial crisis in February, according to La República.
Continental Airlines will begin a Saturday flight to Liberia from Newark, New Jersey’s Liberty International Airport, departing at 8:50 a.m. and arriving at 1:05 p.m., according to the airline’s Web site. A return flight from Liberia to Newark will leave Saturdays at 1:55 p.m. and arrive at 8:10 p.m. A Boeing 737-700 aircraft with 12 first class and 112 economy seats will service the flight.