ICT said the carrier plans to offer four flights a week from Los Angeles to San José (Juan Santamaría International Airport), starting October 31, and four flights a week from Los Angeles to Liberia (Daniel Oduber International Airport), starting November 1.
Hermes Navarro del Valle, who’s in charge of recruiting new airlines on the part of ICT, said negotiations took more than three years and that they were able to close the agreement in October during a visit to the U.S. to promote the country as an ideal destination from Los Angeles.
“Alaska Airlines is a company of great reputation and service in the U.S., and Costa Rica will be one of its first destinations outside that country,” Navarro said.
The carrier is the seventh largest airline in the U.S. and currently has routes abroad only to Canada and Mexico.
ICT research has found that California offers the best tourism prospects for Costa Rica in terms of potential visitors. Fifteen percent of California residents say they have a high interest in visiting or revisiting the country.
“California residents are seasoned travelers, committed to sustainability, with high income and education levels, so these new routes will benefit our two international terminals and bring us closer to our main tourism market,” ICT’s General Manager Alberto López Chaves said Thursday.
According to ICT, Alaska will use Boeing 737 aircrafts with capacities of between 124 and 181 seats.
U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines began offering service from Baltimore, Maryland to San José in March. It plans to start offering flights from Houston to San José in October.