Swiss carrier Edelweiss Air announced the opening of a new non-stop route between Zurich and San José starting May 9, 2017.
President Luis Guillermo Solís and Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura officially presented the new route Monday evening at a special event held at the National Theater in downtown San José.
Flights will depart from Zurich on Tuesdays at 5:35 p.m. and on Fridays at 12:25 p.m. From San José flights will depart at 11:35 p.m. on Tuesdays and at 6:20 p.m. on Fridays.
The route will be operated using Airbus A340-300 aircraft with a capacity of 314 seats, the airline said.
“This announcement reinforces Costa Rica’s image of a highly competitive and a highly demanded tourist destination,” Solís said.
The president said the launching of the new route will also bring cultural and economic benefits. Costa Rica and Switzerland have a free trade agreement in force since 2014.
“Costa Rica is a very popular destination among Swiss tourists,” Edelweiss CEO Bernd Bauer said, noting that the new route will bring some 27,000 tourists to Costa Rica each year, “which will create an economic benefit of $80 million annually.”
The Edelweiss flight will be the sixth from Europe, joining flights of Iberia from Madrid, British Airways from London and Condor from Frankfurt. In November Condor will start flying from Munich and Air France will open a route from Paris.
Data from the Costa Rican Tourism Board indicates that in 2015 some 400,000 people entered the country from Europe.
The figure represents 15 percent of the total number of people who entered on a tourist visa last year, and also an increase of 22,633 arrivals from 2014.
Edelweiss, a member of Lufthansa Group, carries over 1.3 million passengers per year to 40 destinations worldwide.
Contact L. Arias at [email protected]