Board members of the Civil Aviation Authority’s Technical Council last week granted Costa Rica’s new airline Air Costa Rica an Air Operator Permit (AOP), according to company general manager Carlos Víquez Jara.
The AOP allows the carrier to move forward with negotiations to start local and international operations and allows the company to officially be considered an airline.
Air Costa Rica still needs approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC), which allows the carrier to use aircraft for commercial purposes. That could be issued as early as this week, Víquez said.
Both the permit and the certificate are necessary for the company to launch negotiations in each of the countries where the carrier plans to fly.
“Negotiations vary in each country and may take between four to eight months – even more in some countries,” he said.
Víquez said that depending on the approval time, the first route approvals could be granted for flights between San José and Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The company also hopes to fly to Miami, Bogotá, Guayaquil (in Ecuador) and Lima. They also expect to offer charter flights to San Andrés island, in Colombia.
The carrier’s first aircraft will arrive in the country in October. Workers will then paint them with the colors of the Costa Rican flag and decorations evoking the country’s natural beauty.
“They also will display a big Pura Vida sign,” Víquez told The Tico Times last month.