A new plane of the Iberia company with capacity for 359 passengers, mostly Spanish, left Ecuador this Saturday for Madrid, an itinerary that will be repeated next Monday, Spanish diplomatic sources told Efe.
The aircraft, which left the Spanish capital in the direction of Quito last Friday with 58 Ecuadorian minors, left this city today to make the Quito-Guayaquil-Madrid route, said the Spanish ambassador to Ecuador, Carlos Abella and Arístegui.
“We estimate that more than 300 Spaniards and 40 passengers from other nationalities, mainly from the EU, traveled on that flight,” added the diplomat, who listed among them Germans, French, Italians, Czechs and Austrians.
Among the Spanish passage, 48 are people considered “vulnerable” with diseases such as diabetes, asthma, disabilities or child care in Spain, and among those from other countries they were also privileged to have this condition, the ambassador clarified.
The two Spanish consulates general in Quito and Guayaquil, as well as the Embassy of Spain, have managed to coordinate four humanitarian flights this month in coordination with the Iberia airline, despite restrictions by COVID-19, and the incident of the week passed at the Guayaquil airport that endangered an airline plane that was trying to land.
The ambassador indicated that Spanish nationals have also managed to leave Ecuador thanks to the collaboration of countries such as Germany and on flights from other companies such as KLM and Air France.
Iberia has flown to Madrid on the 18th, 22nd and 28th of this month and it is expected that next Monday 30th, for the time being, the last repatriation flight for Spaniards, the ambassador said.
In total, more than 1,400 places will have been assigned to favor the return of Spanish nationals, thanks to the diplomatic efforts of the Embassy and its consulates.
A new Iberia plane is scheduled to land at the Quito airport tomorrow, Sunday, and to take the same route on Monday as the one that left today with all its seats occupied.
Among the passengers who boarded today’s flight, for example, are young tourists who were in the Galapagos or the Ecuadorian Amazon when the state of sanitary emergency was declared by COVID-19 in the Andean country.
So far, nearly 2,000 Spanish tourists have already returned to the country thanks to the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation with other Governments amid the multiplication of restrictions on the movement of people due to a coronavirus pandemic.
Iberia informs on its official website that more than 6,000 people will return to Spain on about twenty repatriation flights that the company is organizing with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spanish embassies and consulates abroad and from different countries in Spain.
Since the crisis began due to the spread of COVID-19, Iberia has already operated repatriation flights with Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, Japan, Peru, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Senegal and Uruguay.
In the coming days, it has new flights planned to Ecuador, Panama, Algeria and, subject to authorization from the respective countries, also to Argentina and Peru, the airline reported.