San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Airlines again are showing interest in flying to Costa Rica

After dropping the route last year, Colombian airline Avianca apparently has changed its mind and will soon resume flights between San José, Costa Rica, and New York, Costa Rica Civil Aviation Authority (DGAV) Director Álvaro Vargas announced this week.

The route, which includes a stop in San Salvador, El Salvador, will take off on March 16.

Avianca also canceled four other flights to Costa Rica last May, firing 261 Costa Rican employees in the process.

The company said at the time the move would help them “become more competitive and profitable by reducing costs.”

Last week, United Airlines announced it would add more nonstop flights between San José and hubs in Chicago and Washington-Dulles.

Throughout this month United will offer two weekly flights between San José and Chicago on Saturdays and Sundays, and three weekly flights between San José and Washington on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

From April 1-June 4, the airline will return to a single weekly flight between San José and Chicago and two weekly flights between San Jose and Washington. But more flights again will be added from June 5 to Aug. 18, United said in a press release.

The new flights will use Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 16 seats in United Business, 48 seats in Economy Plus and 90 in Economy.

“The increase in flights to Washington and Chicago allows us to support country strategies to attract U.S., European and Asian tourists, but it has also has allowed us to contribute to the momentum and dynamism of the export and industrial sector,” said United’s Central American Executive Director Salvador Marrero.

Álvaro Vargas added that his agency met with low-cost airline VivaColombia to evaluate a potential launch of operations in Costa Rica.

“We expect them to remain interested in Costa Rica and to submit a formal application once they have reviewed all information provided by the DGAV,” Vargas said.

Contact L. Arias at

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