Low prices propel growth in domestic flights

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    There has been a growth in the number of passengers taking domestic flights because of the reduction of prices through promotions, the incorporation of daily flights, and a wider variety of destinations.

    About 220,000 people were transported during 2015 to destinations such as Drake Bay, Tortuguero, and Tamarindo, which corresponds to an increase of 10% since 2014, according to Civil Aviation.

    However, the increase will be even greater, as for the first half of 2016 both Nature Air and Sansa lowered the price of tickets by 50%.

    “We have effectively given promotions aimed at the national passenger, and are looking for tourists to learn about our services and domestic destinations” said Mario Zamora, general manager of Sansa.

    Nature Air launched an offer yesterday to fly to Quepos and Tambor during August, September, and October with prices around 13,000 colones ($26) each way.

    “Thanks to the discounts, we have seen an increase of double the passengers in comparison to the first half of the year,” said Maria Pia Chaves of Nature Air’s marketing department.

    Meanwhile, Sansa has seen a growth of 20% in operations and passengers.

    As far as frequency is concerned, the airline incorporated daily flights to destinations that were previously carried out weekly, such as Tamarindo, La Fortuna, and Quepos.

    Meanwhile, starting to offer flights to unexplored destinations is another reason for the growth. Just last year Nature Air and Sansa started a daily flight to Limon, which is used by both travelers and entrepreneurs, and engineers and auditors who supervise the workings of the new container terminal.

    The previous year also saw new flights to international destinations like Emerald Coast in Nicaragua by Sansa, and the consolidation of routes to Managua and Bocas el Toro through Nature Air.

    “For next year, it is in study to include Corn Island in Nicaragua as a new tourist destination,” added Chaves.

    This surge in passengers is incentive for airlines to make investments in the purchase of new aircraft and services for customers.

    Nature Air acquired in 2015 four new LET L410s, with capacity for 20 people after an investment of $2.5 million. Sansa acquired two Caravan 208B EX with capacity for 12 passengers each.

    The struggle among local companies has been more significant between Sansa and Nature Air, which have fought over first place in mobilization of travelers.

    However, a growth in smaller companies such as Carmonair and Aero Bell has also been reflected.


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