Last week, Colombia’s Transportation Minister Angela Orozco (above) announced that Colombia’s airports will reopen to international flights beginning September 1, as the sanitary emergency is slated to end August 31. Domestic flights are expected to resume July 1, as the national curfew is slated to end June 30, though this has not been confirmed by the government. Presidential Decree 749 of 2020 prohibits all domestic air transport from midnight, June 1 to midnight June 30, continuing restrictions already in place since March.
“We won’t open intermunicipal transport during the month of June, nor domestic or international flights,” said President Ivan Duque. “We will make exceptions for humanitarian flights for the return of our compatriots to the country; we will maintain the borders closed for the month of June.”
“It is positive that we have a defined date for the effective sale of international tickets, but we call on the government to also define the date for domestic flights; key to the resumption of operations and survival of our airline,” Viva Air’s Commercial Vice President Lisa Monta Pinto told Finance Colombia.
“From Monday according to the minister’s announcement, we are authorized to start selling international tickets dated from September first. Based on that, at Viva we believe that sales of international flights will be slower than domestic flights. We know that initially, operations will be adjusted according to the demand that we experience. This will also allow us to determine how ticket sales will behave, so we will be constantly monitoring demand in order to be able to respond with opportunity, efficiency, and competitive value.”
“It is also important to highlight that at Viva we are ready to resume operations once we have the national government’s authorization as we prepare with all the biosecurity measures and protocols to continue to guarantee inclusive air travel in Colombia,” she said.
Decree 749 also orders that Colombia’s borders—land, sea & riparian—remain closed with Venezuela, Peru, Panamá, Brazil and Ecuador until July 1 except for cargo, merchandise, force majeure, humanitarian emergencies, or the departure of foreigners coordinated by Migration Colombia, the country’s immigration enforcement authority.
The decree stipulates punishment for noncompliance under Article 368 of the Penal Code: “Whoever violates a sanitary measure adopted by the competent authority to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic will be imprisoned for four to four years and, in addition, will have to pay the fines ordered by Decree 780 of 2016, issued by the Ministry of Health.”