Air France, British Airways and KLM will resume flights to Costa Rica over the upcoming weeks, announced Aeris, which manages Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO).
Costa Rica’s busiest airport is currently handling 48 operations per week, a number that is expected to increase significantly by the end of 2020.
Air France is scheduled to fly to/from Paris beginning on Saturday, October 31; KLM will resume Amsterdam flights on November 26; and British Airways will begin London flights by late December.
In addition, Spanish airline Iberia — which already flies thrice weekly to Costa Rica — plans to add a frequencies in December and January.
“These flights are vital to continue building the recovery of the sector and the attraction of tourists to Costa Rica, through a competitive and safe airport from the moment the passenger arrives in the country,” said Rafael Mencía, Executive Director of Aeris, in a statement.
“We are at the gates of the high season, and as administrators of the main airport in the country, we have prepared to receive more passengers, complying with service standards and providing a safe travel experience under strict compliance with all sanitary measures within from the air terminal.”
All dates and routes are subject to change based on travel restrictions, demand and the progression of the coronavirus pandemic, a reality highlighted by the numerous European countries experiencing record outbreaks of COVID-19.
According to data compiled by The New York Times, France, the Netherlands and Spain each have among the most new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the world. In response, France has imposed a month-long lockdown, Dutch hospitals have transferred patients to neighboring Germany, and Spain has extended its State of Emergency.
Meanwhile, Costa Rica has eliminated its coronavirus test requirement for arriving passengers and instead relies on health protocols and contact tracing to limit spread.
“We have a need to reactivate our tourism sector, because that reactivates our economy,” Gustavo Segura said Wednesday. The Tourism Minister explained international visitors have not represented a vector of contagion in Costa Rica.
SJO, located in Alajuela, handles nearly 3 million passengers (arrivals and departures) during a typical high season, but the ongoing pandemic is expected to depress international travel over the next several years.