Galapagos will begin to have commercial flights gradually from the first week of August, with an offer that will move depending on demand.
The first airline that will start with the restart of operations is Latam. Édgar Andrade, commercial manager of the company , indicated that the operation will start on August 3 with two frequencies per week from Quito and Guayaquil.
“We are going to go from less to more, it is rare in these circumstances to start with 100% of the frequencies you had before the pandemic,” Andrade said.
The flights will resume four months after the archipelago stopped receiving tourists through regular commercial flights. Since the health emergency began on COVID-19, airlines have only conducted special flights to carry settlers and remove stranded visitors.
Andrade assured that the offer to the Galapagos, like other domestic destinations, will grow depending on demand.
The airline currently has ten to twelve weekly flights on the Quito-Guayaquil, Quito-Cuenca and Quito-Coca routes. Before the pandemic it was about 12th.
The resumption of Latam operations in Galapagos will coincide with the expansion of frequencies authorized by the Emergency Operations Committee, which ordered that from August 1 the frequencies go from 30% to 50%.
One of the requirements for tourists visiting the archipelago is to have the negative result of a PCR test to detect COVID-19, taken a maximum of 96 hours before the trip.
Latam began selling tickets for August from $ 196 on the Guayaquil-Galapagos route.
Avianca, which also has services to the Galapagos, will resume operations on August 9 with a Sunday flight sandwiched between islands.
María Beatriz González, commercial manager of Avianca in Ecuador, indicated that 4 flights to transport cargo and passengers would operate in August.
“According to the passenger demand that the routes to and from Baltra and to and from San Cristóbal present, we will continue to analyze the changes in the itinerary,” said González.
The airline indicated that it is working with agencies and tour operators to raise the demand for tourists and thus resume flights with better occupancy.
From Saturday, August 1, there will also be a Safe Tourist Corridor for the Galapagos Islands. That was one of the decisions approved Monday by the national Emergency Operations Committee.
Andrade indicated that although the requirement of the tests may affect the number of passengers arriving in the Galapagos, it will be a matter of time until they get used to it. “Today the important thing is that there are transparent processes to promote Ecuador abroad,” said Andrade. (I)
-Latam plans to resume its flights to New York at the end of the third quarter of the year.
-Avianca has already started offering flights to foreign destinations on its website for September.