San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

United inaugurates new non-stop flights from Chicago and Washington to Costa Rica

United Airlines on Saturday kicked off new weekly year-round service between its hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport, in Washington, D.C., and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to San José.

New flights on Boeing 737 aircraft with a capacity of 154 passengers each will join the airline’s schedule to Costa Rica from Houston and New York, the company and the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) said in a joint press release.

Tourism Minister Allan Flores said the new flights to Washington and Chicago “allow the country support strategies to attract tourists, not only from the United States but also from Europe and Asia.”

Salvador Marrero, United Airlines executive director for Central America, said that Costa Rica also benefits from the new destinations for commercial and industrial reasons, since “headquarters of several major companies based in Costa Rica are located in the four destinations that United has from San José.”

In 2012, Costa Rica recorded 2.34 million visitors and $2.2 billion in income from tourism, both record figures for the country.

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