QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica could soon see the arrival of Russian visitors on two direct weekly flights between Moscow and San Jose, confirmed Álvaro Vargas, director of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC).
Vargas said that Russia and Costa Rica are in an advanced process to sign a memorandum of understanding.
The Russian government news agency, TASS, confirmed in a press release that, as of December 1, it will allow the launch of two direct weekly flights between the two countries.
Last month, TASS reported that Russia will resume air service with Argentina, Brazil, as well as lift restrictions on regular and non-scheduled flights to Cuba and Mexico, starting December 1.
The Transport Authority of the Russian Federation proposed, on November 24, officially the opening of the two weekly frequencies. Currently, between Russia and Costa Rica, charter flights are allowed for specific cases, for example, when it was the Soccer World Cup in 2018. However, regular commercial routes are not, explained Vargas.
“The idea of the agreement is to establish regular flights, which allows airlines to market air tickets. With the signed agreements, the companies will be able to start flying, but it will clearly be a commercial issue for the companies to define their strategy,” said Vargas.
Air transport memoranda and acts are international agreements that regulate aeronautical services between countries, establishing the characteristics of the relationships, for example, how many flights can be made between countries, if they are passenger or cargo routes, if it is allowed to fly to several cities and more.
The signature of said documents must be ratified in the respective Congresses, although to start the flights it is not necessary that they be approved by legislative agreements.
Between January and October 2021, 2,250 travelers from Russia entered the country by air, representing 1.5% of European tourists. In 2019, prior to the covid-19 pandemic, there were 4,273 travelers from Russia, according to data from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT).
One of the characteristics is that both Costa Rica and Russia require a visa.