Three airlines this week announced new flights between Costa Rica and destinations in Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.
Air Canada on Wednesday announced it will add a seasonal non-stop flight between Montreal and San José during the 2016-2017 winter season. Starting on Dec. 22, the airline will fly twice a week using aircraft with a capacity for 282 passengers.
Currently the airline has weekly flights between Toronto and San José, Toronto and Liberia, and Montreal and Liberia.
Canada is Costa Rica’s second largest source of tourists arriving by air after the U.S., Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura highlighted Wednesday.
“Montreal and Toronto are the two best prospects of Canadian visitors for our country,” he said. “Our research indicates that some 12 percent of residents of these cities have a high interest in visiting or revisiting the country,” he said.
Officials from the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) expect the new route to facilitate connections between Costa Rica and other Canadian cities such as Quebec, Ottawa, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Last year, Costa Rica 157,614 Canadians entered the country, of which 90 percent came by air.
Between 2009-2014, Canadian tourists spent an average of $96 here daily and stayed an average of 15 nights, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT).
Mexico and Venezuela
Mexican low-cost airline Volaris also announced Wednesday that was adding a third weekly flight between San José and Guadalajara and San José and Cancún. The carrier launched operations in Costa Rica in September 2015 with two weekly flights on these two routes.
Earlier this week, Venezuela’s Albatros Airlines confirmed the start, on May 2, of a non-stop flight three times a week between Caracas and San José.
Costa Rica is the airline’s first international destination.
Albatros general manager in Costa Rica Mauricio Castro said the company chose Costa Rica mostly because of the large number of Venezuelan expats currently living here.
“Costa Rica also is an excellent destination for both tourism and business,” he said. “Undoubtedly, we believe Costa Ricans also will find in Venezuela a great vacation destination.”
Castro said the carrier is currently looking into opening at least two more routes in Central America.