As of March 28th and for a month, the German airline Lufthansa will increase the frequency of its weekly flights from three to five from the city of Frankfurt to the Juan Santamaría airport in Alajuela.
The routes are scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. These flights will depart from Germany on flight LH 518 at 1:40 p.m. (local time), and will arrive on Costa Rican soil at 5:50 p.m. The departure from Costa Rica, on flight LH 519, is at 7:35 p.m. And it will arrive in the Teutonic city at 3 p.m. local time.
The route operates with Airbus A340-300 aircraft for 279 passengers, 30 in business class, 28 in premium and 221 in economy. The German flag air line requested a total of 12 additional frequencies from Civil Aviation until the end of April.
Optimism in ICT
“This news allows us to continue with the reactivation of tourism and the airline industry. And despite the fact that the German government designated certain vacation destinations in Europe as ‘safe corridors’, the increase in bookings also reached our country. And hence the decision made by Lufthansa to increase the frequency of flights,” said Hermes Navarro, Head of Attraction Investment at ICT.
Lufthansa resumed its flights to San José on October 24 with two weekly flights. With the new increase in routes, the company will offer 1,395 weekly seats per section. The German market constitutes one of the main emitters of European tourists to Costa Rica. According to the ICT, German tourists spend more than 12 days in Costa Rican territory, mainly enjoying outdoor activities and nature.
According to ICT estimates, a total of between 400,000 to 1.6 million visitors is expected this year. Last year, the country received only 1,011,912 entries to the country’s airports. This is equivalent to 66% less than during 2019.
Also United Airlines from the US
In addition to the confirmation made by Lufthansa, United also announced an increase in frequencies to Costa Rica from the United States:
Newark – Liberia: two to three times a week.
Denver – Liberia: one to three times a week.
Chicago – Alajuela: Expansion throughout the summer.
Denver – Alajuela: Expansion throughout the summer.
Increase in use of Terminal
According to Aeris, a total of 22,000 more passengers used the domestic terminal during the first quarter of 2021. The Pandemic has also had an impact on demand. It also reported that there has been a 35% increase in charter flights during that period and compared to last year, according to the manager, Everardo Carmona. This terminal was inaugurated in 2018 and has the capacity to handle up to 200,000 passengers per year, the concessionaire recalled.