For the first time, a direct flight to the Chilean capital took off from Mariscal Sucre Airport. Latam will operate with four weekly frequencies.
Travelers seeking to reach Santiago de Chile from Quito by air had to perform – compulsorily – a national stopover in Guayaquil. That stop meant loss of time and comfort for passengers. That reality was in the past. Yesterday, at 09:55, the Airbus A320neo of the airline Latam Airlines took off for the first time from the Mariscal Sucre Airport, located in the parish of Tababela, with direct destination to the Chilean capital.
The aircraft, which incorporates state-of-the-art technology, started at its maximum capacity (174 occupied seats). Daniel Leng, executive director of Latam, informed that the company he represents worked for more than a year to offer the direct route between both capitals. Initially, the route is scheduled to operate with four frequencies a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
The plane will depart at 06:00 from Santiago and at 10:00 from Quito (local hours of each country). The schedule was established based on the profile of passengers using that route. Most of them are executives, tourists and students. One of them is Gonzalo Peralta, representative of a technology company that travels from Quito to the south of the continent twice a month.
Although he does not see a difference in the cost of the ticket (approximately $ 700), the savings in time and logistics will be better, said the executive. The airplanes that will realize that route in four hours and 55 minutes represent a saving of 15% of fuel and 50% less of noise that the airplanes of the previous generation.
Currently, airplanes take off from the Ecuadorian capital’s terminal that reach 15 world destinations directly, said Luis Galárraga, communications manager of Corporación Quiport, the concessionaire in charge of the operation of that airport. The official added that in 2018 more than 5.2 million passengers arrived and departed from Tababela.
Of these, 45% corresponded to international flights. In that same year, 45,000 tourists from Chile arrived in Ecuador, informed Rosi Prado, Minister of Tourism, who also participated in the inauguration of a direct flight. The holder of the tourism portfolio emphasized that connectivity is one of the priorities for the country. (I)