QCOSTARICA – Four Canadian airlines will resume their flights to and from Costa Rica, starting on October 2, after a seven-month absence following a decision by the Government of Canada to contain the covid-19 pandemic.
Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, and WestJet will begin to fly to the Guanacaste Airport in Liberia (LIR) next Saturday (October 2) the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism board – reported this Friday, September 24.
These airlines will fly from the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Calgary; most flights will be to Guanacaste.
“Canada is the second market of tourists to Costa Rica, surpassed only by the United States. The return of Canadian airlines occurs at an ideal time to boost visitation in the last quarter of the year,” said Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.
WestJet will be the first to touch down, arriving from Toronto (YYZ). The airline will be offering, for now, one weekly flight, but from November it will be increased to three. Also in November, the airline will add two weekly flights to and from Calgary (YYC).
Air Canada will return to Guanacaste starting October 9 with flights from Toronto, with one weekly flight, on Saturdays; but in November it will increase to three weekly. In addition, on November 7 it will add a flight from Montreal (YUL).
Air Canada will also start flying to the San Jose airport (SJO), from Toronto, on October 13.
Sunwing’s return will be on November 1 with weekly flights from Toronto and Montreal to the Guanacaste airport.
Air Transat will reactivate its operations to Guanacaste, with weekly connections, from the cities of Montreal and Toronto, starting on December 13 and 17, respectively.
“This growth translates into higher income throughout the region, due to the strong linkage of the tourism sector with many other activities, which fills us with optimism regarding the effects that the high season could have, which will begin soon,” said César Jaramillo, general manager of Coriport, the operator of the Guanacaste Airport.
In 2019, 218,932 Canadian tourists entered Costa Rica by air, which represented just over 9% of total international travelers and approximately 13% of those from North America.
Potential tourists from Canada visit Costa Rica because of their preference for “escaping” from the intense winter, their inclination for rest, exploring other cultures, and relaxing in natural environments, according to an analysis carried out by the ICT.
The “best prospects” from Canada are a potential market of more than three million potential travelers concentrated mainly in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, the study highlights.
For travel to Canada
Earlier this month, on September 7, Canada eased travel restrictions. International travelers who have been fully vaccinated (at least 14 days before entering the country) against COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic, will once again be allowed onto Canadian soil for non-essential purposes, and won’t need to quarantine for 14 days.
To date, Canada has approved vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.
Before boarding, anyone at least five years of age and up — even if they are fully vaccinated — will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours before boarding a plane. Antigen tests don’t count for travel to Canada.
Canadian citizens (including dual citizens), people registered under the Indian Act, permanent residents of Canada, or protected persons (refugee status) are allowed to enter Canada.
Foreign nationals who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated will only be allowed to enter in specific circumstances