Wingo that starts operation on December 1 will offer low-cost flights from Costa Rica's San Jose airport to Panama and Guatemala
Wingo that starts operation on December 1 will offer low-cost flights between Costa Rica’s San Jose airport to Panama and Guatemala

(QCOSTARICA) Wingo is the name of the new low-cost airline that will connect Costa Rica with Guatemala and Panama starting on December 1, 2016.

The announcement by the airline owned by Copa Holdings which also owns Copa Airlines was made on Friday, with the start of ticket sales on its website Wingo.com. (The website is only in Spanish).

Bogota (Colombia) based Wingo will take over all of Copa Colombia’s routes except its flights to and from Panama City. Wingo, led by former JetBlue Airways and Avianca executive Catalina Breton, will have its own dedicated management team, says Copa chief executive Pedro Heilbron. Breton says the two airlines (Copa and Wingo) are 100% independent.

Price war. A round trip (one adult) between San Jose and Panama leaving December 5 and returning December 8 is US$142.75 with all taxes and surcharges in. Return between San Jose and Guatemala City (GUA) is US$155.72.

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Caveat. Adding luggage (other than carry-on), fast check-in and preferred seating adds US$71.31 for a total cost on the above ticket to US$214.06. In according with the airline’s terms and condition, the airline will drop the charges if traveller only has carry on, will take assigned seating and is willing to wait in line at the airport counter. Copa and Avianca, on the other hand, do not charge extra for these items, but, do not offer reductions either.

The airline flies between San Jose’s Juan Santamaria international airport (SJO) and Panama’s Panama Pacifico international airport (BLB), previously known as Howard Air Force Base, in the heart of Panama City on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays. There are no scheduled flights on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The same dates on Copa Airlines is US$432.53, meanwhile, Avianca, the Colombian airline, is giving Wingo competition, offering a return fare for the same dates for US$158.48. (see screenshots below)

Both Copa and Avianca operate flights out of the Tocumen international airport (PTY), a 30 minute drive from downtown Panama.

Wingo destinations. From Costa Rica, the only flights from the San Jose airport are to Panama City and Guatemana City. From Panama, Wingo offers destinations to the Colombian cities of Cartagena, Medellin, Bogota and Cali and international flights that include Aruba, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela.

The airline will start with a fleet of 4 aircraft models Boeing -737 to 700, with a capacity for 142 people.

For travel to and from Costa Rica and Guatemala, starting next month (November) Air Costa Rica takes to the skies with charter service between San Jose (SJO) and Guatemala City (GUA). Competition for the route include scheduled carriers Avianca, Copa, Veca Airlines and Aeroméxico.

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