No commercial or cargo company is interested in operating in this air terminal.South Korea Consortium evaluated three of the 21 airports. The frequency of international flights in the country increased from 304, in 2017, to 318 so farin 2018; likewise, national frequencies increased from 259 to 289.
The increase in foreign frequencies represents 4.65% and by 2019 it is projected to reach 7.55%, according to information from the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC). The estimate for next year is based on the opening of new routes (Paris and Caracas) and the entry of three new operators to the country(Viva Air, Peruvian and Joon).
In 2017there were no news of that type. 21 air terminals operate in the country, of which three are concessioned (Quito, Guayaquil and Baltra Island) and one is delegated (Cuenca). All airports are operational, said Jéssica Alomía,Undersecretary of Air Transport of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works(MTOP).
However,not all of them receive commercial flights, as in the cities of Latacunga and Tena. The first one operates only with private aviation because it is cheaper than landing at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, explained Alomía to ELTELÉGRAFO.
In 2016, the public company Tame closed operations there and in 2017 the cargo company Cargolux did the same. The reason was in the low levels of occupation.The airport of Tena ran a similar fate.
Currently there are activities of an aviation school. To date, the Government has not received any request for an operating permit. These two terminals were part of the Strategic Mobility Plan, promoted by the previous government, which included the rehabilitation of six airports (including Latacunga) and the construction of two new ones (including Tena).
More than $ 300 million went to these works. Alomia said that the two bases arepromoted in order to attract operators, because they are able to receive more flights. Only for Latacunga have they managed to get close with low cost commercial companies, as well as cargo, but no negotiation has yet been finalized. “We must remember that the terminals are not solely and exclusively to generate commercial flights, but as a strategic location for any of the incidents that could be generated,” he said.
The plans of the Ministry of Transport and Public Works do not include the construction of new air terminals in the future, with the exception of the General Eloy Alfaro airport in Manta (Manabí), which was destroyed by the 2016earthquake. $ 20.8 million (amount without VAT). Part of the money comes from aloan obtained by the Ecuadorian Government from The Export Import Bank of China.
The construction started last week and will end in 2020. The airports of Manta,Latacunga and Santa Rosa were evaluated by the Korean Airport Corporation(KAC), a state company that manages the majority of airports in South Korea,interested in managing the terminal Ecuadorian who presents the best conditions.
For the next few weeks the results of the evaluation are expected, as well as the decision of the Korean company. The investment of the MTOP in airport infrastructure in 2018 reached $ 9 million, an amount higher than the $ 982,000in 2017, due to the completion of the construction of the San Francisco de Orellana airport in the city of El Coca.
The terminal is operational since September 18 of this year. By 2019, the budget corresponds exclusively to the new Manta airport. Beyond the money allocated to infrastructure, Alomía insisted that “airlines go where there is demand,” whether passengers or cargo. And this depends on the attractions offered by the locations to travelers.
In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism, by email, responded to this newspaper that the entity is part of the presidential commitment to the Tourism Activation Plan with the new airports of Latacunga, Tena, Machala and Coca.
In addition to the DGAC, MTOP and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment work for the reactivation of airports based on the Tourism Promotion Fund,created in the Law of Productive Development. (I)