European tourists will have a new option to travel to Costa Rica with the launch next week of a new nonstop British Airways flight between London and San José.
The route will offer two flights a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays, during the European summer, and three flights a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, in its winter season.
The inaugural flight of the new route between London’s Gatwick Airport and Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José arrived Wednesday.
President Luis Guillermo Solís and various government officials welcomed the first travelers with traditional Tico music and dances.
The president said the new route is a milestone for Costa Rica’s tourism industry, as it is the second direct connection to a European destination.
Previously the only nonstop flight connecting to Europe was Iberia’s route between Madrid and San José.
“This new route demonstrates our country’s good positioning as a great option for European tourists. British Airways chose us as its first destination in Central America and this will result in great benefits for both our tourist and foreign trade sectors,” Solís said.
The commercial director of British Airways at Gatwick, Colm Lacy, said Costa Rica offers European tourists “a great variety of amazing places to visit and hotel options that can be enjoyed by either families looking for a relaxing stay or by travelers looking for adventure.”
Tourism Minister Mauricio Ventura noted that European tourists have an average stay in Costa Rica of 17 nights and spend an average of $1,660, “the highest among all of our priority tourism markets.”
A total of 400,000 Europeans entered the country by air in 2015, representing a 6.8 percent increase over the previous year, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) reported.
Of those, a total of 37,492 were British tourists, accounting for a 21.8 percent increase from 2014.
ICT officials expect the new direct route to facilitate connections with other European destinations, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome and Dublin.
Costa Rica’s flights to and from European destinations currently includes direct flights between Costa Rica and Spain from Iberia, indirect flights between Frankfurt and San José from Condor and, starting in November, a new Munich-San José route from Condor. Starting Nov. 2, Air France will offer two weekly flights between San José and Paris.
ICT estimates that the entry into operation of all these routes for Costa Rica will mean a total of 5,177 weekly available seats for flights from European cities.
For more info: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_cr
Source: British Airways adds nonstop flights between San José and London