Daniel Oduber International Airport
LIBERIA, Costa Rica–In January 2012, CORIPORT S.A., the company that manages Liberia International Airport (LIR) in the northern province of Guanacaste, inagurated a new state-of-the-art airport terminal. Months after the opening of the terminal, several airlines from the United States and Canada decided to start operations to the airport, well-known as the “gateway” to the Golden Coast of Costa Rica, or often called the Costa Rican Riviera. “We hope new airlines will start services to AIDO (Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber) in 2015” declared Francisco Cordero, the Commercial Director of CORIPORT S.A. to La Republica newspaper. “We were able to attract British carrier Thomson Airways. The airline will connect London with Liberia in November 2015. Some airlines opperate to Liberia and not to San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, like WestJet and Sun Country”. Liberia International Airport is just 30 minutes away from the high end resorts in Papagayo Bay like Foru Seasons, Hilton and Hyatt Andaz and an hour away from Matapalo Beach, Mansita Beach and Conchal Beach where RIU, JW Marriott and Westin are located respectively. “On 2012, when we opened the new terminal, we grew 20% in reference to the years before and we grow 14% each month. Our goal is to close 2014 with 700 thousand passengers using Liberia International Airport as their gateway to Costa Rica”, concluded Cordero. CORIPORT S.A. has been already in talks with three airlines and once they reach an agreement they will be disclosed. JetBlue Airways started flights in November from Boston to Guanacaste every Saturday. At the moment the airport has seven positions, 4 with jetways and 3 remote ones. The expansion plans after 2016 include more jetways and ramps. The airport terminal also has been declared by U.S. travel and leisure magazines as one of the most user-friendly terminals in Latin America.
LIBERIA, Guanacaste–British charter airline Thomson Airways announced its first route to Costa Rica. The airline will fly nonstop between London and Liberia, starting November 2015.The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) said the airline will fly once a week from London’s Gatwick Airport. Each airplane will have a capacity for 291 passengers. ICT data indicate that the UK is the fourth largest source of tourists from Europe to Costa Rica. Last year alone the ICT recorded 35,198 tourists from the United Kingdom and Ireland. That’s a 10.2 percent increase in arrivals from 2012.British tourists stayed an average of 14.5 nights in Costa Rica and spent $94, ICT stated.Last Friday, Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister Manuel González Sanz reported that he held a meeting with the CEO and senior executives of Turkish Airlines and began studying options for opening non-stop flights between Turkey and Costa Rica. The officials met during activities held during the opening of Costa Rica’s new embassy in Ankara. The embassy in the Turkish capital is the first new diplomatic office created under the Solís administration.
PAPAGAYO GULF, Guanacaste–The Costa Rican Minister of Tourism, Wilhem von Breymann and Claudia Pina from Wyndham Resorts participated yesterday in the breaking ground of the future Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort of Panama Beach at the Papagayo Bay in Guanacaste. The hotel will be the first resort in Costa Rica. The resort will be opened by the end of 2015 and will feature 151 rooms. Just 20 minutes away from Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport, the Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort will blend with nature and also represent the rich Chorotega culture of Guanacaste. “This new hotel in Costa Rica will allow us to keep showing the excellence of the Wyndham Resorts brand and also Costa Rica, one of the most popular leisure destinations in the world” said Paulo Pena, President and Director of Wyndham Hotels and Resort Group in Latin America. Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort is the latest international resort that will open in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. By the end of 2014 AM Resorts will open the super deluxe Dreams Las Mareas and in 2015 Melia Paradisus Papagayo Bay and Fen Esplendido Tamarindo Beach will also open its doors in the Golden Coast of Costa Rica.
PAPAGAYO GULF, Guanacaste–On February 1st Enjoy Group Hotels will open the doors of its deluxe resort in Guanacaste, El Mangroove. Located in pristine Playa Panama (Panama Beach) only 45 minutes away from Liberia International Airport, the resort will be the first Preferred Boutique hotel in Guanacaste and the second in Costa Rica (the other is the world-known Gaia Hotel & Reserve in Manuel Antonio). It will feature the longest swiming pool in Costa Rica. Completely surrounded by lush tropical forest, El Mangroove perfectly mixes wood and water elements with contemporary architecture and natural furnishings to pay homage to its unparalleled location. The 85 bohemian-chic suites, property-wide complimentary WiFi, and access to numerous indoor and outdoor activities will ensure guests to enjoy this corner of paradise. This will be the latest deluxe five star resort in Guanacaste (Hyatt Andaz opened in December). The Guanacaste Golden Coast is considered the best “sun, beaches and fun” area in Central America and features top-of-the-line resort chains, also very popular for honeymoons and “Destination Weddings” . In addition the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (also known as Liberia International Airport) is serviced by the main U.S. carriers from the most important cities in North America.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica–The year 2014 will be the year of airport competition in Central America. As Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport attracts more airlines (the latest are Air France and TAP Portugal), the rest of the Central American airports will gear up to compete for the “second position”. San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (probably the most modern of the region) suffered in May the unfortunate dismantling of old LACSA’s hub. Juan Santamaria International Airport (JSIA) is just another point-to-point station in the Avianca route system, as practically all U.S. non-stop operations were transferred to El Salvador’s Comalapa International Airport. But AERIS, the private company that manages JSIA is focusing in 2014 to attract new airlines from South America, Europe, Russia and even Asia. AERIS will start the second phase of its expansion that includes several more gates that can handle wide-body aircraft like Airbus A-340-600 and B-747. The gate area will grow double in space by 2017. JSIA will become the hub for Costa Rican start-up Ticos Air. CORIPORT S.A., the company that manages the other Costa Rican international terminal, Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport in the Guanacaste province hopes to also attract new customers like Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines. The Honduran government is hoping to jump start the project for Tegucigalpa’s new international airport in Palmerola, in order to finally shut down the second most dangerous airport in the world: Toncontin. The government in Tegucigalpa hopes also to upgrade the infraestructure of San Pedro-Sula, Roatan Island and La Ceiba Airports. Managua’s Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport and Belize City International Airport at the moment have no expansion projects. In 2014 El Salvador’s Comalapa International Airport will see the start of construction. CEPA (the government agency that manages the airport) hopes to turn the air terminal in the most modern airport in Central America. The new Salvadorian low cost carrier VECA Airlines has chosen Comalapa International Airport to be its main hub.
Finally the Guatemalan government hopes to bring more airline clients to the modern La Aurora International Airport that after its remodeling is totally under used. The growth of tourism in the area will be the trigger for the international airports to modernize and expand.