The strategic position of the region has consolidated it over the years as a world-class logistics platform for the transfer of cargo and passengers. Its 29 airports have guaranteed a more connected and competitive region, however, since March 2020 its activity was interrupted due to the global emergency caused by the Coronavirus.
The post-COVID-19 recovery phase has cautiously begun to take some determined steps towards the reopening of commercial air activity in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The flight reactivation plan will focus mainly on the particular conditions of the countries, as well as gradualness, order, harmonization, and operational and health safety.
Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently reported that Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen on October 1, 2020, as part of the country’s five-phase tourism reopening strategy. For this, Belize is implementing all the sanitary measures to guide tourists who are planning to travel in the coming months.
Guatemala has begun a gradual reopening of the economy under a warning board system similar to the colors of a traffic light. In that sense, work is being done to implement all the health protocols to restart air traffic. According to the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), it is estimated to open the operations of La Aurora International Airport for commercial travel from September 18, this also means the opening of borders. More information here.
El Salvador has set new dates for the reopening of its economy. The Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) has informed that it will be until September 19 for commercial flights of departing passengers and international arrivals; and it is expected that in October the air activities will be executed at 100%. The air terminal will open its skies to receive passengers and commercial flights with strict biosecurity protocols. Meanwhile, the country continues to serve cargo, humanitarian and repatriation flights of Salvadorans. In addition, the circulation of local flights in the territory.
Honduras began operations at its 4 airports on August 17 to receive international travel. The Honduran Civil Aeronautics Agency has reported that the entire air transport supply chain is ready with biosecurity, health, training and investment measures to start commercial activity. More information here.
For its part, Nicaragua has announced through the Nicaraguan Civil Aviation Institute (INAC) the reopening of the Augusto Sandino International Airport, scheduled for September 5. For this, a protocol has been adopted that the airlines must comply with. In addition, the measures already announced by the Ministry of Health regarding the handling of passengers and requirements to enter the country.
Costa Rica opened its international airports on August 1 for flights from European Union countries, the United Kingdom and Canada. Tourists must present a certified negative covid-19 test at least 48 hours before the trip, and have travel insurance that covers a possible quarantine. To guarantee the safety of travelers, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation will be applying a very strict health protocol endorsed by the country’s Ministry of Public Health.
As of September 1, private flights from the United States were allowed to enter the country, given that due to their size and nature they have a much lower epidemiological risk and it will be on September 15 that the entry of Pennsylvania residents will also be enabled, Massachusetts and Colorado.
The Cabinet Council of Panama approved the reopening of various economic activities as of September 7, among them the opening of domestic flights on September 28 and international ones as of October 12. It is expected to start commercial operations to receive tourists from countries with pandemic control. For the moment, the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama has reported that the country is receiving only humanitarian repatriation flights, transportation of medical equipment and supplies, medicines, food and other supplies necessary to face the pandemic.
The Dominican Republic opened its airports to international tourism on July 1 with an occupancy of 30% in hotels and other spaces dedicated to tourism. The island expects to expand the occupancy capacity to 50% in August. According to the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Tourism, the reopening has been carried out following the recommendations set by the High Level Commission for the Prevention and Control of Coronavirus in the country with strict sanitary protocols to avoid the risk of contagion.