The Colombian civil aviation authority, Aeronáutica Civil, recently released passenger statistics for 2016 — and business is booming. Flight traffic is up almost across the board at the nation’s 10 largest airports compared to 2015, and there has been a huge spike among travelers heading to the Caribbean.
Nationwide, the busiest 10 airports reported 1.6 million more passengers from January to April of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. That’s a jump from just 17.2 million people to 18.8 million, and more than half of these travelers — nearly 10 million — came through Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport.
Despite high inflation and a national economy being dragged down by slumping oil prices, more people are coming to the capital for work and pleasure. The nation’s famous beaches are also filling up with sunbathers eager to enjoy the surf, sand, and exotic fruit juices that make spending time on the coast so relaxing.
The international airport servicing Colombia’s top tourist destination, Cartagena’s Rafael Núñez International Airport, welcomed 20.3% more travelers than it did during the same period in 2015. The next two largest airports on the Caribbean coast — Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport in Barranquilla and Simón Bolívar International Airport in Santa Marta — also saw jumps of 11.5% and 6.5%, respectively, over last year.
Even the popular getaway hotspot San Andrés has had a huge year. With more than 688,000 travelers passing through its Gustavo Rojas Pinilla International Airport so far in 2016, the island paradise recored a 22.5% increase compared to the same period in 2015.
In total, the four biggest airports servicing Colombia’s Caribbean region have seen almost half a million more passengers in the first four months of 2016 than they did from January to April last year.