With a year’s operation under its belt, connecting Costa Rica with Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua, Volaris Costa Rica is now setting its eyes on the United States.
The airline says it is working on obtaining permits for three new routes to the United States in 2018, with the aim of offering low-cost tickets to Miami, Los Angeles and New York.
Fernando Naranjo, the general manager of the airline, indicated on Friday morning that they already obtained the ‘political permission’ by U.S. authorities.
The airline celebrating its first anniversary on Friday, December 1 says it transported 162,000 passengers during the past year on its 11 routes to Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua.
The company started with the first flight between Costa Rica and Guatemala City, and now includes Managua, San Salvador, Mexico City, Cancun and Guadalajara.
Two weeks ago the airline opened flights between San Salvador and Guatemala City to Tijuana, Mexico. The objective of this flight is to allow passengers access to the United States through the Cross Border Xpress (CBX), also referred to as the Tijuana Cross-border Terminal and the Puerta de las Californias, an enclosed pedestrian skywalk bridge exclusively for Tijuana Airport passengers who cross the U.S./Mexico border as part of their trip.
According to Naranjo, the airline aims to offer cheaper flights than those currently offered in the market flights to the United States from Costa Rica and Central America.
Where do most tourists visit Costa Rica from?
The U.S. continues to be the main tourist market in Costa Rica, although the number of travelers saw a drop in the last year, followed by Europe.
Figures from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Institute – show that the number of tourist arrival from the U.S. by air to August of this year was 846.463, a decrease of 3.4% for the same period in 2016.
In the last two years, the country saw the arrival of new airlines with direct flights between Costa Rica and European cities such as Amsterdam(KLM), Madrid (Iberia), London (British Airways), Paris (Air France), Zurich (Edelweiss) and Munich (Condor).
In the period to August of this year, there were 45,151 tourist arrivals from France, 44,745 from Britain, 41,981 from Spain, 36,688 from Gernany, 16.785 from Holland and 13,271 from Spain.