Two airlines opened recently new flights between Costa Rica and the United States of America.
On the night of Friday, November 1st, the first JetBlue flight that flew direct from New York landed.
JetBlue, the low-cost American airline opened its direct flight between John F. Kennedy (JFK) airports in New York and Juan Santamaria (SJO) in Alajuela on Friday, November 1st.
Minutes before 11 p.m. this Friday, the first direct flight from the Big Apple landed on national soil.
The aircraft is an Airbus A320 with capacity for 150 passengers and will fly on this route three times a week. The flights will be held on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board.
This airline, originally from New York, will operate the JFK-SJO 1793 flight that will depart at 6:25 PM from New York and arrive in Costa Rica at 10:50 PM.
Also, the flight SJO-JFK 1794 will take off at 23:59 and will land in the United States at 06:09 local time.
Giselle Cortés, director of international airports at JetBlue, said in a statement that this opening was made possible by inter-institutional work with Aeris, the operator of the Juan Santamaria airport, and the ICT.
"We are happy to launch this service between San Jose and New York, which provides more travel options to the Costa Rican community and strengthens the country's tourism," said the spokeswoman for the airline.
ICT data obtained from the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners show that, between January and September of this year, 996,929 Americans entered the country by air.
This figure is quite considerable if it is taken into consideration that during 2018 the amount of air tickets from that country was of 1,217,511 people.
The projection of the Costa Rican authorities is that this new connection with New York drives positive growth by the end of the year, since the United States remains the main issuer of tourists for the Costa Rican market.
The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, stressed that the new nonstop flight will add 23,400 seats annually that will facilitate the entry of American visitors.
The Travel Styles USA 2018 study revealed that Americans have the highest level of historical interest in visiting Costa Rica. The measurement reported that 44.7% of travelers indicated their preference to come to the country, while for other nations, such as Mexico (42.7%) and Brazil (39%), the expectation is lower.
JetBlue made the announcement of a new direct route between San Jose and New York last June. This same company currently operates a daily flight to Fort Lauderdale and another to Orlando, both in Florida.
Similarly, since December 2018, it has been providing direct seasonal services to Liberia in its Mint mode (the exclusive flight with "premium" service).
The airline travels to Costa Rica since 2009 and currently transports about 42 million passengers per year to more than 100 different cities in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Its operation includes a daily average of 1000 flights.
For its part, the American Airlines airline opened on Thursday November 22nd a daily flight, which will operate permanently, between the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose Costa Rica.
The B737-800 aircraft with 160 people on board landed at 8:30 p.m.
"This new route between San José and New York is an example of our strong commitment to Costa Rica," said Rafael Sánchez, Regional Operations Manager for American Airlines for Central America. "Very soon we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary serving the country, and our plans are to continue growing in Costa Rica and offer our customers unsurpassed connectivity."
The JFK - SJO flight leaves New York at 15:59 and arrives at SJO at 20:30. At 23:49 it leaves SJO, arriving at the JFK at 06:00.
Meanwhile, on December 21st, AA will inaugurate the flight from New York to the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) which is located in Liberia Guanacaste. It will consist in a weekly operation (Saturdays).
“American Airlines is the largest airline in the world and is betting on extending its operations to the two international airports of our country, today (on Thursday) to the Juan Santamaria and within a month to the Daniel Oduber, both flights from the John F. Kennedy airport, known for being the one with the highest number of international passengers in the United States”, said Mrs. María Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism.
She highlighted the continuous and planned work of the Costa Rican Tourism Board's strategy in alliance with the airports for the strengthening of Costa Rica's air connectivity and the contribution of this new operation to the national economic activity.
“The new American Airlines flight represents a connection to and from the main airport of Costa Rica and that of New York. Many travelers arrive from this city - stopping at other destinations - that will now be able to fly directly, which encourages traffic and facilitates the transport of existing passengers.
We are sure of the success of this route since, from New York at the end of last year, more than 300 passengers per day moved”, said Rafael Mencía, Executive Director of AERIS Costa Rica.
The flight to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San José adds 58 400 annual seats, while the route to the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Guanacaste Costa Rica totals 8 320.
From January to October 2019, the country accounted for 1,056,703 arrivals of Americans by air, which represents a 5.2% growth in relation to the same period of the previous year.
In 2018, Costa Rica accounted for 1,265,067 international arrivals from the United States by all means, 42% of the total visitation. Meanwhile, 96 out of 100 of these arrivals occur by air.
In 2017, the average stay and spending of Americans was estimated at 10.1 nights and US $171.6 per day. The places and Costa Rica activities that these tourists prefer are the following: sun and beach, trekking (with specialized shoes - hiking trails), hiking (more difficult terrain), among others.
These are great news for the local tourism industry, which will be benefited of the incoming of new travelers.
Last week the arrival of the first flight of the KLM international airline to the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste was announced.
On June 26, American Airlines also reported that, by the end of this year, it will add two new flights from John F. Kennedy airport to Costa Rica.
Similarly, the Wingo airline began operations on September 3, with two weekly flights between San Jose and Bogota.
It is expected that with all these efforts the influx of tourists who come to know the country is growing.