(QCOSTARICA) In country flights have been on the increase this year as more people every day in Costa Rica choose to take to the skies to avoid the worsening traffic congestion, this according to official data of domestic flights.
The two domestic airlines report and increase in flights this year over last year.
Sansa says it moved 110,000 people in 2015, an increase of 22% over 2014, according to the audited statistics of the Director General of Civil Aviation. Its rival, Nature Air reports moving 83,000 people in 2014, but saw a drop of 15% in 2015 (70,653), the official date revealed.
However, it the first half of 2016, the airline saw a 87% increase over the same period last year, moving 58,800 passengers. Meanwhile, according to figures by Civil Aviation, Sansa only saw an increase of 67% over last year, mobilizing 74,300 people so far this year.
Both airlines say the increase in volume is directly related to the traffic chaos.
A trip from San Jose to Liberia over land, for example, can be up to 4 hours; by air 35 minutes.
A round trip from San Jose to Liberia costs between ¢68,000 and ¢81.000 at full fares. Both airlines offer special pricing to entice customers.
Both airlines offer destinations to and from San Jose that include: Liberia, Tamarindo, Tambor, Tortuguero, Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Drake Bay, Arenal and Quepos.
The benefit of travelling by air is leaving the capital at 6:00am, arriving in Liberia by 6:35am and returning by 7:00pm. We used those hours since they are before and after the worst of San Jose traffic conditions, though lately it is more like before 5:00am and after 9:00pm.
The demand for domestic air travel is for all destinations: Guanacaste, the Southern Zone and the Caribbean (Limon).
Source: La Nacion, Sansa, Nature Air