Air Costa Rica, the country’s new airline, could be taking to the skies as early as December, after last week delivering to Aviación Civil (Civil Aviation) all the technical, legal and financial documents required to obtain certificates of operation as an international airline.
Carlos Víquez, the airline’s director, confirmed that they have started the second phase of the certification process, which is expected to take from four to six months.
The executive also revealed that, although the legal name of the airline is Tica Air International, they will operate under “Air Costa Rica”.
The airline, in its first stage, will fly charter flights to destinations that include Nicarauga, Panama, Colombia and the United States.
Tica Air is one of two airlines in the country in the process of obtaining operating permits. The other is Tico Airlines, which intends to offer flights to Los Angeles and New Jersey in the United States; Carcas, Venezuela; and Mexico City. Tico Airlines is looking to fill the void left in the market by Avianca’s reorganizaiton (elimination) of routes flown by TACA.
Tica Air is owned by George Novey and Eduardo Stagg, owners of Air Panamá, operating since 2006 with more than 300 employees and 18 planes, whose core business is national flights within Panama and one international flight to Costa Rica.
Víquez said the Tica Air has leased two Boeing 737-300 aircraft with a capacity of 147 passengers each, but for the certification process there is only one noted, this to accelerate the process.
The new airline intends to offer its first flight between Panama’s Arraiján airport (formerly Howard Airport, the former Howard Air Force Base) for its proximity to Panama City, rather than Panama’s Tocumen international airport. The flight will stop in San José with a destination to Miami, Florida and back. The other routes are from San José, Managua (Nicaragua) and San Andrés island (Colombia).
The to be certified airline said the Panama – San José – Miami and San José – Managua flights will be daily, while San Andrés will be twice a week.
According to the filing, the company intends to have between 50 and 60 Costa Rican employees, including flight crews and administrative staff, with more employment as the airline grows, with an initial investment is US$2 million dollars.
Source: El Financiero