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European Airlines Say “Yes” To Costa Rica

Edelweiss will increase to three weekly flights starting in September; KLM considering permanent operations

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The Dutch airline, KLM, says it aims to again operate flights permanently between San Jose and Amsterdam, while Edelweiss and Air France announced the increase in flights before the end of the year, all with direct service between Costa Rica and the “old continent” as Europe is referred to by many in the country.

Esteban Altamirano, marketing manager for KLM in Costa Rica. Photo Esteban Monge/La República

The change means more direct trips each week for tourists coming to Costa Rica and travelers in the country headed to Europe.

The decisions of the airlines come from successful operations and an occupancy in flights that is around 90%.

In the case of KLM, the period in which the route from Costa Rica will operate is not known, since it will depend on aspects such as market behavior, sales, and public acceptance. Currently, the airline offers seasonal flights, during the European winter, after its return to the country in 2017, after a 20-year absence.

“We had positive results last season. It has been a very pleasant surprise; a market that was not expected so much in the beginning and started as an experiment has responded positively. The clients are satisfied,” said Esteban Altamirano, Marketing Manager for Costa Rica at KLM.

For the 2018/2019 season, KLM will commence flights on October 28, with three weekly (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday) that could be extended to March.

Air France, that began operations in Costa Rica in 2016 with seasonal flights, currently maintains two weekly flights between San Jose and Paris that will increase to four between October 29 of this year and March 2019. Flights will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Edelweiss, that connects San Jose with Zurich, will add starting in September flights on Sundays to its current flights on Tuesdays and Fridays.

“In the last 12 months, Edelweiss has operated more than 200 flights between Costa Rica and Switzerland, transporting more than 55,000 passengers. Due to this resounding success, it has been decided to increase flights, adding a third frequency as of September 30,” the airline said in May through a press release.

Lufthansa, part of the Edelweiss group, that began operation in March with the San Jose – Frankfurt flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays is expected to add more flights.

“We are very happy with how this flight started, it has had a great reception among the customers. Although it is very early, we are already thinking about a possible increase in frequencies, we do not know if this year,” said Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Vice President of Sales of Lufthansa, one month after the first flight from Germany to the country.

For its part, the Spanish airline, Iberia, offers daily flights between San Jose and Madrid, with additional weekly flights during the October – March season.

Other airlines with direct, but limited direct flights, to and from San Jose (SJO) include British Airways (London), and Condor (Frankfurt).

Airlines with stops to and from San Jose and European cities include Avianca (Bogota and El Salvador), Copa (Panama) and Air Canada (Toronto).

Click here for San Jose airport airlines directory.

Source (in Spanish): La Republica