The strategic position of the Central American region has turned it into a world-class logistics platform for the transport of cargo and passengers over the years. 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 decisive steps toward reopening commercial air activity in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The Flight Reactivation Plan will be focused mainly on the particular conditions of the countries, as well as gradualness, order, harmonization, and operational and health safety.
Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport is scheduled to open on August 15 as part of the five-phase reopening strategy for tourism in the country. As part of the process, Belize is implementing all sanitary measures to guide tourists who are planning to travel in the coming months.
Guatemala has started a gradual reopening of the economy under an alert board system similar to the colors of a traffic light. In this regard, work is underway to implement all the health protocols to restart air traffic. According to Guatemala’s General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC), La Aurora International Airport could restart operations for commercial trips during the first two weeks of September; this would also mean opening borders. Click here for more information.
El Salvador has set new dates for the reopening of its economy. Civil aviation schools are expected to begin operations on August 20. However, the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) has reported that the air terminal will open its skies to receive passengers and commercial flights with strict biosecurity protocols until September 4th. Meanwhile, the country continues to service cargo, humanitarian, and repatriation flights for Salvadorans, as well as domestic flights within the territory.
Honduras plans to open its four airports during the first two weeks of August to domestic flights and will subsequently start operations to receive international travel. The Honduran Civil Aviation Agency has reported that the entire air transportation supply chain is ready with biosecurity, health, training, and investment measures to restart commercial activity.
For its part, the Nicaraguan Civil Aviation Institute (INAC) has announced the reopening of the Augusto Sandino International Airport, scheduled for the first weeks of August. For this purpose, a protocol that the airlines must comply with has been adopted. In addition, the Ministry of Health has already announced measures regarding passenger handling and requirements to enter the country.
Costa Rica has announced the beginning of phase 3 of the reopening of economic activities. In this respect, international airports are scheduled to open on August 1st for flights from countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Tourists must present a certified negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before the trip and must have travel insurance that covers a possible quarantine. To guarantee the safety of the travelers, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation will be applying a very strict health protocol endorsed by the country’s Ministry of Public Health.
Through its National Authorities, Panama has announced that it plans to reopen the International Airport on August 21st to start commercial operations for tourists from countries with pandemic control. At the moment, the Panamanian Civil Aviation Authority has reported that the country is only receiving humanitarian repatriation flights, transportation of medical equipment and supplies, medicine, food, and other supplies necessary for the fight against the pandemic.
The Dominican Republic opened its airports to international tourism on July 1st with a 30% occupancy 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 made 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.