The market of domestic flights in Costa Rica had been for years dominated by Sansa Airlines, even when the operations of Nature Air where growing, Sansa always kept the leading position, statistics by Civil Aviation from 2016 showed that at that time, Nature Air was absorbing close to 30% of the market, while Sansa had almost 55% and the rest of the travelers used charter flights or smaller companies, this year however, as a result of all the problems faced by Nature Air, Sansa has strengthen its operations. As it is expected, this situation also opens the doors to new participants; four companies are currently in the process of getting their Aerial Operator Certification (COA) through the General Directorate of Civil Aviation with the purpose of offering flights to the main tourist sites in the country.
Costa Rica Green Airways, backed by CarmonAir which offers charter flights, is in the last stage of the process and hopes to receive approval to begin operations in September 2018.
This company will offer daily flights to Nosara, Tambor and Quepos from the domestic terminal of the Juan Santamaria Airport. Their expectation is to add four destinations (Puerto Jimenez, Golfito, Liberia and Tamarindo) by the time the high season arrives. Green Airways expects to enter the market with competitive prices, faster planes and more capacity for luggage.
TAC Guatemala, a company with over 50 years offering domestic flights in that country, turned its sight towards the Costa Rican market, TAC Airlines Costa Rica is halfway through its approval process and hope to initiate operations in November this year. They will offer flights to Liberia, Tambor, Quepos and Puerto Jimenez from the Tobias Bolaños Airport in Pavas; if things go as planned, they will add three destinations in 2019.
Finally, Skyway, an airline that currently offers charter flights, is also working on being part of the domestic flights market starting in mid-November from the Juan Santamaría Airport and with flights to Puerto Jimenez, Drake Bay, Bocas del Toro, Liberia and Quepos.
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Arturo & Nereyda
Costa Rica Travel Experts