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Costa Rica could launch 7 new airline routes and add 2 carriers this year

July 14, 2014

At least seven new routes between Costa Rica and destinations across the Americas could launch operations during the second half of the year, according to Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Administration (DGAC).

The agency has approved new routes for two carriers, and a third carrier’s request is pending.

Colombia’s Avianca will open new routes between San José and Santiago,Chile, and San José and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Both will include stopovers in Bogotá, Colombia. The routes already were approved and will begin operating on Aug. 16.

The agency also approved a request by Cubana de Aviación to offer a nonstop flight to Havana, Cuba, starting as early as next month.

U.S. low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways has begun the process of opening a new route from Liberia,Guanacaste, to Boston, in the eastern United States. If approved, JetBlue could begin offering service on Nov. 1.

DGAC Director Álvaro Vargas said that authorization for new local carrier Air Costa Rica could be approved later this year. The company has applied for licensing to operate three routes between San José and Miami, Nicaragua and Panama, plus charter flights to San Andrés island in Colombia.

Another local carrier, Ticos Air, began the process last year. Still pending are several technical requirements and formal requests for routes, Vargas said.

Salvadoran carrier VECA also will submit in coming weeks a formal application to operate in Costa Rica and launch a San Salvador-San José route.

Vargas said that so far this year two additional airlines have requested meetings with DGAC officials to discuss the country’s requirements to launch operations. Those airlines are Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras and Russia’s Transaero Airlines.

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