Galapagos Airways: new startup airline in the beautiful country of Ecuador

Galapagos Airways is the new startup airline in the beautiful country of Ecuador. It is Ecuador based regional airline with the aim of operating a convenient and advanced fleet of aircraft in Ecuador for the transportation of traveling passengers and freights.

As the national flag carrier and the largest airline of Ecuador, TAME ceased to operate air transportation and finally become liquidated; the two new startup airlines in Ecuador, namely Ecuatoriana airlines and Galapagos Airways, emerged to overcome the gap caused by the liquidation of TAME. After years of struggling, the COVID pandemic further compounded the difficulties, causing the ceasing of TAME.

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Ceased TAME airlines, Galapagos Airways will recover the routes of it
Ceased TAME airlines, Photo from wikimedia

Galapagos Airways is a carrier operating regionally with its base on Mariscal Sucre International Airport, located in the capital city of Quito. Ecuatoriana airline is a revival of previous state carriers and already has established its brand with a history of 64 years on the continent, unlike Galapagos Airways. The airline intends to serve the domestic air travel market of Ecuador, which includes the Galapagos. The two primary hubs are Seymour Airport (GPS), which flies on the island of Baltra, and San Cristobal Airport of San Cristobal Island. 

Fleet of Galapagos Airways

Galapagos Airways plans to use the fleet of either Boeing 737 NG or Embraer E190 for starting flights as per local media outlets. The aircraft to be utilized for domestic flights is expected to provide safety and comfort to the passengers.

In the process to get the AOC

The concept for starting Galapagos airways was developed in 2018. Yet this startup airline has a long journey to establish its brand before it actually starts the air operation. As per local media reports, Ecuador’s new startup has yet to receive an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). AOC is the approval to allow air operators to fly aircraft. Such certificate mentions the type of aircraft, its purpose it, and geographical areas, etc. It is also reported that the airline has already got its ten domestic route approval for air transportation.

Named after beautiful Galapagos Island

The new Ecuadorian airline is named after the beautiful Galapagos Island. However, as per its name, it won’t be basing its air operation on the Galapagos archipelago. Galapagos Island offers a breathtaking view that is clearer from the sky. Galapagos Island (1) is a famous touristic destination.

As sea transportation became inconvenient means for the movement of passengers, an air travel solution was needed to overcome the challenge of rapid, timely transportation. Ecofriendly airports were made to welcome air traffic. Galapagos Island is a world heritage site enlisted in the year 1978. It contains about 19 islands, each with a unique landscape and many small islets.

Ecuador is a naturally rich country where the tourists enjoy watching wildlife, diving on wolf and Darwin island, and engaging in water tourism activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, hiking into the highland, etc. One can get to Ecuador, which is the mainland, by flying either to Quito or Guayaquil- nearer to the island. Different US airlines, such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, etc., fly to Ecuador. The time duration of the flight from Quito to Galapagos is near two and a half hours.

Galapagos Island is a famous tourist destination; many airlines seek to offer unique and memorable experiences of air travel. Sea and air transportation are the prominent means to reach Galapagos Island. One can enjoy the flight while witnessing the mesmerizing view landing on Galapagos Island. Galapagos airways seek to provide efficient, secure air service while utilizing the aircraft feasible to the environment where it flies.

As the ravaging effect of a pandemic is weakening, more airlines are re-establishing the flights which had been halted and connect the air network of Quito. With the crisis of pandemics, there is no try domestic national airline in Ecuador. Galapagos Airways aims to target business and leisure tourists, who can take tours of secondary cities and visit friends and relatives easily respectively. The airport network of Ecuador is robust, as the government is keen to invest in improving infrastructures. With high-altitude airports, short distant runways, the airports have their restrictions.

Galapagos Airways Route

Galapagos Airways are planning to commence flight on three routes for which the submission has been made. These three routes are:

• Quito or Guayaquil-Baltra-Guayaquil or Quito
• Guayaquil-Isabella-Guayaquil
• Quito or Guayaquil-Saint Cristobal- Guayaquil or Quito

The first route will have four weekly flights, excluding Thursday and Saturday.

The second route will have three weekly flights on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Four flights will commence in a week excluding Thursday and Saturday on the third route.

The other routes to operate in Galapagos Island are as follows:

• Quito- Loja-Quito
• Quito- Coca-Quito
• Quito-Cuenca Quito
• Quito-Manta- Quito
• Quito- Saint Rosa- Quito
• Guayaquil- Cuenca- Quito

The new airline Galapagos has requested a permit from National Civil Aviation Council to operate in the domestic air market in Ecuador.  The airline is commencing to formalize flight and route frequencies after being granted to operate some flight frequencies to Galapagos, which were granted previously to TAME. It started its process on June 9, 2021, and is on the operating permit procedure. Then it can help to develop the domestic air transport system of Ecuador, which will facilitate the general public, passengers, mail, and cargoes.

With new startups on the way, Ecuadorian aviation is being reborn every day.  

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