Encouraging signals for the post-pandemic aviation industry

Positive indicators from United, American and others.

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As the aviation industry goes, so too does Costa Rica’s vital tourism sector. Over recent weeks, we’ve seen positive indicators of a post-pandemic recovery. Let’s recap:

  • In May, United Airlines will operate more flights to Latin America than it did in 2019. This includes flights to Costa Rica from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco.

  • As of May, American Airlines will “unground” all remaining planes and operate all of its aircraft for the first time since the pandemic started. This is in response to bookings that in some moments have reached pre-pandemic levels.

  • Air Canada will resume service to Latin America in May following a government-requested suspension of those routes. At the moment, however, the airline hasn’t announced a date for resuming flights to Costa Rica.

  • The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has screened more than 1 million passengers every day since March 10, an upward trend of travelers.

  • This new demand largely corresponds to leisure travel, which portends well for Costa Rica, which is predominately a leisure destination.

With one exception, all U.S. airlines that flew to Costa Rica before the coronavirus pandemic have resumed those routes. Only Southwest says service will resume at an unspecified “later date.”

“We’re optimistic for the summer of 2021,” Julie Rath, American Airlines vice president of customer experience, told ABC News. “So we’re optimistic that we’ll continue to see travel — and especially leisure travel, as we’ve been seeing recently — continue to increase.”

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