By Christian Lengua
Carlos Gutiérrez, general manager of the Association of International Air Transport Companies (AETAI), indicated that this Monday, October 19, the deadline for the government to analyze opening routes with new countries for international flights expires. It is worth mentioning that two weeks ago air traffic with seven countries in the region was restored, under the rule that flights could only last four hours.
“We are waiting for the government to authorize the other countries that were out of the first package. As an association, we propose that the restart of operations take place with countries that have open borders, but this was not the case. It was also indicated that within these two weeks, that is, next Monday, the issue would be reviewed. The idea is that it be extended because there is no reason to maintain the limit of four hours ”, Gutiérrez indicated.
He highlighted an IATA report that indicates that worldwide there have only been 44 cases of contagion among more than 36 million passengers on air flights. Being accredited that there are very little possibilities of contagion inside the cabin, Gutiérrez hopes that the flights with Brazil, Mexico, USA, and Central American countries, such as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.
Regarding flights to the European Union, all America is banned from entering, except Uruguay and Canada. However, the AETAI executive considered that connecting flights in Europe should be authorized to travel to other countries such as Russia. Likewise, by the time contagions drop and the veto for the region is lifted, regular flights will be restored.
For his part, Carlos Canales, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) indicated that as soon as the flight hours are extended to six hours, Miami, Mexico and Sao Paulo will be incorporated. “We calculate that in November it would already be expanding”, he referred.
With Sao Paulo there is a lot of commerce, which is reflected in the flow of businessmen. Also when the flights with Brazil open, it will connect with Asia and the Arab countries, through airlines such as Emirates or Qatar Airways, Canales said.
He added that many foreigners who do not have direct flight with Peru are using places like Panama City, Bogotá, Quito and Santiago de Chile, as a stopover to come to our country. Especially Americans who have to come for work.
“There is a lot of order at the airport and discipline on the part of the users. On Monday I traveled and I was able to verify that the protocols are being met, there is physical distancing, and the flights are at 70 or 80% capacity ”, Canales pointed out.
FLIGHTS TO CHILE
The Ministry of Transport and Communications announced last Thursday that in the first week of restarting international flights (October 5 to 11), 4,024 passengers entered and left Peru. The route with the highest demand was Lima-Santiago with 3,081 flights between both cities.
For Carlos Canales, one reason is that Chile is the country with the greatest bi-national business development. “There are important Chilean investments in Peru, we have investments in retail, agro-export, fuel, telecom, shopping centers, food production, etc.”.
The second reason is the number of Peruvians who are also residents in Chile and there is a lot of transport of people who want to return to the country. “Likewise, since there is a reasonable price to travel to Chile, it is accessible to visit relatives, and that has caused a great demand”.