(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rica’s air borders re-opened to international tourists on August 1. However, the opening of commercial flights has not yet brought the Juan Santamaría airport closer to full operations.
In August, 6,071 passengers passed through the principal air terminal in the country, which represented 97% less in relation to the previous year, when 213,870 people did.
“The expectations that we have for this month of September, with the opening of more U.S., is approximately 12,500 passengers. When comparing it with September 2019, we have a decrease of 93%, when there were 174,000 passengers from all destinations,” said Erick Barboza, commercial director of Aeris, the terminal’s management firm.
Barboza explained the estimate is that about 8,000 passengers expected from the United States, compared to the 68,000 last year this month.
The commercial director added that with the opening of new authorized states, American Airlines flights to Dallas and Miami were confirmed; United to Houston and Newark; and Spirit to Fort Lauderdale.
Currently, residents of the states of Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia (Washington D.C) can enter Costa Rica.
Starting October 1, residents of California.
There could be more states added, as was done in August and this month, in the coming days, with the possibility of Texas, Florida and Arizona. This is only speculation on our part.
In addition, since August 1, the entry of travelers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea (South), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, United Kingdom or the Vatican City, are authorized.
Civil Aviation has also endorsed connecting flights from unauthorized destinations, provided that passengers prove that they come from the permitted countries or U.S. states and comply with the other requirements:
- Negative PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding flight
- Travel insurance, either from an approved international carrier or purchased locally
- Duly completed health form.
In the region
According to a statement released by the Airports Council International (ACI), passenger traffic in August at airports in Latin America and the Caribbean was 75.8% lower than in the same month in 2019.
In addition, as indicated, since the beginning of 2020 (January-August) the region’s air terminals experienced a decrease of 58.3% compared to the previous year.
The ACI estimate is that passenger traffic this year will close with a reduction of between 60% and 70% compared to 2019, representing a loss of up to 480 million passengers.
This reduction will mean that the income of the region’s airports will decrease by at least US$6.5 billion.
These figures will depend on when governments allow the resumption of air transport and on the measures applied against COVID-19.
“ACI recommends to governments that instead of implementing quarantines, which destroy demand, they implement testing protocols as a better option. The severe reduction in passenger traffic will have a significant impact on the airport economy ”.
According to the ACI, passenger traffic volumes are not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024.
“A faster recovery is expected in markets with higher domestic traffic compared to those with a higher proportion of international traffic,” the statement added.