A total of 24 airlines that operate more than 1,100 weekly direct international frequencies certify Colombia as one of the most attractive destinations for airlines, which find many opportunities to grow in the Andean country.
With a cut to June, there are a total of 1,134 weekly frequencies of companies such as Turkish Airlines, Iberia, Lufthansa, United, Avianca, Aeroméxico, Spirit, JetBlue, Delta, KLM, Latam and Copa Airlines that connect Colombia with the rest of the world.
That translates into a total of 182,432 weekly chairs to and from destinations such as Madrid, London, Istanbul, New York, Munich, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Amsterdam, Havana, Santo Domingo, Cancun, Miami, Santiago, Panama City, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Paris, among others.
Last year, eight airlines opened 17 new air routes in Colombia – distributed in the cities of Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena de Indias, Cali, Pereira and Santa Marta – and 26 additional frequencies were inaugurated.
Among those routes that went into operation are San Salvador-Cartagena (Avianca) in October, Lima-Medellín (Viva Air Peru) in November and Miami-Pereira (American Airlines) in December.
For the president of Procolombia, Flavia Santoro, the arrival of new air routes "is a symptom of the confidence of the world's airlines in Colombia and the potential we have to grow as a business and tourism destination."
"Its impact on competitiveness is very important because we are connecting more regions with the world," said the president of ProColombia, the state office for export, investment and tourism promotion.
In Santoro's opinion, Colombia is showing "the numerous advantages it has" such as "its strategic geographical location in the region, the opportunities to invest in airport infrastructure and its great tourist attractions."
So far this year, there are already nine new routes that have entered into operation, including one of Air Europa between Madrid and Medellin that has been enabled since last June.
Another key to making the country an attractive destination for airlines was the remodeling of the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, which included the expansion of the central platform for the planes and six new boarding docks.
The objective of these works, started in 2007 and delivered in December 2017, was to expand to 40 million passengers per year the capacity of the main air terminal in the country, for which more than 420,000 million pesos were invested (about 139 , 6 million dollars of the time).
In that sense, El Dorado closed the first half of the year connecting more than 16 million passengers with 41 local destinations and 26 countries through 22 airlines.
According to Opain, the airport's concessionaire, the preferred destinations of travelers in the first six months of 2019 were Madrid, Lima, Panama, Mexico, Miami, Santiago, Sao Paulo, New York, Quito and Cancun.
Meanwhile, the José María Córdova de Rionegro International Airport, which serves Medellín, had an increase in passenger traffic of 18.1% in the first half of the year with 4.3 million people, while in the same period of 2018 were 3.6 million.
And those figures are replicated in the rest of the country, as evidenced by the Colombian Civil Aviation (Aerocivil) in its Sector Studies report in which it reported a 6.1% growth in the "passenger air transport service" in 2018.
Last year, according to that study, 37.7 million air transport contracts were made, while in 2017 they were 35.6 million.
"This is a figure that air transport had never reported and we continue to work hand in hand with the National Government's policies to continue providing better services, so that Colombians have the possibility of accessing air transport more and more," he said in his moment the director of the Aerocivil, Juan Carlos Salazar.
Along these lines, the Government is still trying to improve air connections and the last step it took to do so was in China, where President Iván Duque began making arrangements during his visit last week so that there is a direct flight between Beijing and Bogotá, which would also transport cargo.
"I celebrate that the Chinese president (Xi Jimping) and his team want to take that historic step of having a direct flight between China and Colombia, much more considering the enormous potential that exists for tourism given that Chinese tourism in Colombia barely represents the 0 , 5% of our visitors, "said Duque.
For now, the market is waiting for the promise of the head of state to be fulfilled and in the meantime it continues to grow in other markets, allowing it to expand and consolidate as one of the most attractive in the region.
. (tagsToTranslate) Colombia (t) destination (t) attractive (t) Latin America (t) airlines