Amid the easing up of diplomatic tensions and resumption of commercial flights between Venezuela and Colombia, Turpial Airlines commenced air service between Caracas (CCS) and Bogata (BOG) on Monday, becoming the first airline to reconnect two South American nations post-pandemic.
Resumption of Caracas-Bogota service
After a gap of more than 2.5 years, Turpial Airlines operated the first flight from Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS), Caracas, to El Dorado International Airport (BOG), Bogata carrying forty-nine passengers onboard the Boeing 737-400 aircraft on Monday. The 32-year-old narrowbody B737-400 registered as YV613T deployed for the CCS-BOG route left the departure airport at 17:29 local time and landed in Bogata at 18:02 local time.
The last nonstop air service connecting the capital cities of Venezuela and Columbia was in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc on airlines’ operations worldwide. Air operations remained suspended for more than two and half years until Turpial Airlines resumed the airline flight between the two nations on November 7.
The Venezuelan carrier will operate two flights a week between Caracas and Bogota in both directions on Mondays and Saturdays. Turpial’s flight itinerary between Caracas and Bogota is scheduled as follows:
- T9 8820: Depart CCS at 17:00 and arrive in BOG at 17:30 local time
- T9 8821: Depart BOG at 18:30 and arrive in CCS at 21:00 local time
- T9 8820: Depart CCS at 18:00 and arrive in BOG at 18:30 local time
- T9 8821: Depart BOG at 19:30 and arrive in CCS at 22:00 local time
Turpial Airlines has a small fleet of three B737-400 aircraft and will operate the same to carry a total of 122 passengers between Simon Bolivar International Airport and El Dorado International Airport. As per the airline website, the one-way ticket for this flight costs $240. It is a short-haul service lasting only 90 minutes on the CCS-BOG route.
Satena follows the lead.
Columbia’s government-owned airline Satena is following Turpial Airlines’ lead and is set to operate the second flight between Venezuela and Columbia on Wednesday. The carrier will be the first Colombian carrier to operate flights to Venezuela post-pandemic. It will offer charter service in the CCS-BOG sector, with the cheapest one-way ticket costing $300.
No Línea Aérea Conviasa flights between Caracas and Bogota
Before the coronavirus crisis, Venezuala’s flagship airline Línea Aérea Conviasa used to transport passengers between the capitals of Venezuela and Columbia. But currently, there won’t be any Línea Aérea Conviasa flights between Caracas and Bogota due to US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions. On August 5, 2019, OFAC filed a motion against the Venezuelan Government for misusing the state-owned carrier’s fleet for political agendas and shuttling government officials instead of transporting passengers.
Due to the US government’s sanctions placed on the Venezuelan flag carrier, the Columbian Aeronautical Authority granted flight permission to Turpial Airlines to fly on the Caracas-Bogota route.
Other airlines applying for the Bogota-Caracas route
Post-pandemic, Turpial Airlines has gotten an early leg up on the Bogota-Caracas route with its first-ever nonstop service on November 7. The Columbian airline Satena is also commencing air service between these cities on Wednesday, November 9. Besides Turpial and Satena, several other carriers have also applied to serve this route, including Avianca, Avior Airlines, Laser Airlines, LATAM, and Wingo.
Avianca is a Bogata-based flag carrier of Columbia that seeks to launch seven weekly flights between its hub Bogota and Venezuela’s capital Caracas. LATAM, the largest carrier in Latin America, has obtained permission from Venezuelan and Columbia authorities to provide air service between the two capital cities seven times a week.
The Caracas-based Laser Airlines has permits from both countries to operate flights and will offer seven weekly flights between Venezuela’s Maiquetia and Columbia. Likewise, Wingo- a low-cost carrier owned by Copa Holdings, has applied for three potential routes from Colombian authorities on the Bogota-Caracas, Medellin-Caracas, and Bogota-Valencia routes.
Air travel between Caracas and Bogota
In addition to being the most popular international travel destination for Venezuelans, Columbia is a National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC)-an authorized country to operate regular passenger, cargo, and mail service in Venezuelan airspace. In the pre-pandemic year, i.e., 2019, the CCS-BOG route saw 160,237 passenger movements, reflecting the popularity of air travel. The commencement of airline flights between Caracas and Bogota addresses an immediate need for connectivity and fills the air demand gap between the two thriving cities.
Things to do at Colombia
Colombia is renowned for its abundant natural riches, cutting-edge cities, and varied cultural heritage. As per DivingPicks , San Andres and Providencia Islands provide some of the Caribbean Sea’s greatest diving opportunities.