Colombia Recovering Air Connectivity With Arrival Of New International Air Carriers, Additional Routes
After almost two years of COVID-19 pandemic-induced restrictions, the travel industry has started recovering traffic volume to pre-COVID levels. In Colombia’s case, the South American nation was one of the first countries in Latin America to lift Covid-19 travel restrictions, and has made significant progress towards recovering its international connectivity.
Currently, there are 23 international connections from 8 different Colombian cities, reaching a total of 710 flights per week and 126,000 available seats. 41% of that volume is directed to and from the United States, 17.3% to Panama, 11.7% to Mexico and 5.5% to Spain.
During 2021, twelve airlines have announced new routes, with Colombia now ranking within the top 20 global commercial aviation markets, and third place in Latin America, surpassed only by Mexico and Brazil, according to aviation data firm OAG..
Mexican operator Volaris has entered the Colombian market with routes from Mexico City and Cancún. Colombian low-cost carrier Viva is in the midst of an aggressive expansion with new routes to several countries, and new cities in existing national destinations.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ricardo Galindo Bueno, indicated that “the arrival in the country of this airline (Volaris), added to the inauguration of two Spirit flights originating in Miami and arriving in Bogotá and Medellín, allows us to acknowledge a very good job if taking into account that in 2019, until now the most important year for Colombian tourism, a total of 17 new international routes were inaugurated.”
Growth in travel between Colombia and Mexico is continuing to increase, with six airlines now flying between the two countries: Aeroméxico, Avianca, Viva, Wingo, Viva Aerobus and Volaris. These carriers connect Mexico City and Cancún with Bogotá, Medellín and Cali; reaching 83 flights and 14,769 weekly seats, achieving a recovery of 76% of the seats and 67.5% of the weekly frequencies, compared to February 2020.