Spanish holiday airline Iberojet on Tuesday inaugurated flights between Madrid and the San José area, adding a new nonstop option between Costa Rica and Europe.
The Airbus A350 arrived to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) carrying 290 passengers. They were welcomed by a water-cannon salute, Costa Rican music and dance, and — in a sign of the times — commemorative masks designed like painted oxcarts.
The seasonal route will operate twice weekly on Tuesday and Saturday.
“We have worked hard to make this flight a reality,” said Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister.
“The arrival of Iberojet broadens Costa Rica’s direct connections with Europe, specifically with Spain, strengthening Costa Rica as one of the most desired destinations for Spaniards, lovers of nature and outdoor activities.”
This flight has been a long time coming. Last year, Evelop Airlines planned to fly to Costa Rica, but operations never launched due to the coronavirus pandemic. Evelop has since merged with Orbest under the Iberojet brand.
On its website, Iberojet offers several Costa Rica travel packages that include flights, hotels and transportation.
“The small country of Costa Rica hides many beautiful, natural treasures within its borders,” their promotion reads. “This country [is] one of the most attractive, unique, and biodiverse destinations on the planet and you will love getting to know it.”
In 2019, Costa Rica received 69,745 tourists from Spain.
Costa Rica is dropping its insurance requirement for vaccinated tourists starting August 1. You can read more about that here. Vaccinated Ticos and those who have recovered from Covid-19 can visit Spain.