Welcome Competition and Low Prices

In five years the airline market in Central America has transformed from being a market dominated by two major airlines, to one with new entrants, lower prices and greater connectivity.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The arrival of so called "low cost" airlines to the region has resulted in a progressive reduction in the prices of tickets to fly between Central American countries. Between 2011 and 2014 the average cost without taxes for travelling between Costa Rica and El Salvador ranged from between $400 and $500, while in 2015 it costs $391.

Nacion.com reports that "...In the case of Panama, tickets went from $400 to $500 to $350, on average. Copa, Avianca and Air Panama, and in December Wingo, have direct flights to this country, with prices starting at $200. Other destinations such as Honduras, Belize and Guatemala did not see any significant drop in price, according to data from the ICT; however, Wingo and Air Costa Rica advertised rates from $200 or 'below market' rates in the case of the Costa Rican airline, to Guatemala, where currently only Copa and Avianca operate direct routes."

Taking into account the flights announced in the region for January 2017 by Air Costa Rica and from December 2016 by Wingo, there are "... 197 direct flights, of which 63 are by Copa to Panama, where there is connections with other destinations."

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More on this topic

New Flights San Salvador - San José

February 2015

The Salvadoran airline Veca has announced that as of February 25th it will begin operating three flights per week between San Salvador and Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.

From a statement issued by Vuelos Económicos Centroamericanos:

VECA Airlines with the aim of integrating Central America and expanding opportunities for everyone to fly, will be starting operations, from February 25, between the cities of San Salvador and San José, Costa Rica; the direct flights will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

More Competition in Regional Aviation Market

December 2014

With the entry of two competitors focusing on the business of low-cost fares, the airline market in Central America is preparing for a potential price war.

Panama has become the starting point for tourists looking to travel to the rest of Central America, where new airlines want to capitalize on a market which so far has been driven Copa Airlines and Avianca.

Low Cost Flights from San Salvador to Guatemala

November 2014

The Salvadoran airline VECA will be operating two daily flights between El Salvador and Guatemala starting from January 2015.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador (MITUR):

The start of operations of Vuelos Económicos Centroamericanos (VECA), which is scheduled for the end of November, will be an excellent opportunity for regional tourism due to the low cost of airfares.

Guatemalan Airline Starts Operations in El Salvador

February 2014

The low-cost airline Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos plans to offer a daily flight from Ilopango airport in Guatemala City.

The airline Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos will start operations on March 20, offering a daily flight from Ilopango airport east of San Salvador, to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala. The flight between the two cities will take approximately 30 minutes.