Alaska Airlines will chart new territory this autumn when it adds new links between Los Angeles and Costa Rica's two major international airports, further strengthening its southern California focus city. The new flights to Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia will launch at the start of the winter 2015/2016 schedules.
The airline will offer eight weekly flights into Costa Rica with four flights per week to each destination from Los Angeles International Airport. The link to San José will operate on Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from October 31, 2015, while the Liberia service will fly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 1, 2015.
"As the most popular Central American tourist destination for U.S. travellers, Costa Rica is a mecca for eco-tourism, surfing and sport fishing and has been a top request from our customers who enjoy outdoor adventure," said John Kirby, vice president of capacity planning, Alaska Airlines. "Our new Costa Rica flights are well timed for Los Angeles travellers and offer convenient roundtrip connections for our Anchorage and Seattle customers.”
The Costa Rican Tourism Board, Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, (ICT) is opening the country’s borders to more international visitors as part of a sustainable tourism policy. The country is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south; it is bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean.
With an abundance of unique wildlife, landscapes and climates, the small country proudly shelters approximately five per cent of the known biodiversity in the world. In order to protect and preserve its wealth of natural resources, it has become a global leader in sustainable practices with protected areas comprising 26 per cent of its land mass.
Liberia is the gateway to the Guanacaste region in the western part of the country, renowned for surfing and sport fishing. While the capital city of San José, located about 130 miles from Liberia, boasts museums and historic Spanish colonial architecture.
The new Alaska Airlines flights will bring competition to both international routes. The Los Angeles – San José market has been served by American Airlines and LR in the past ten years but since July 2013 Delta Air Lines has been providing the only non-stop offering with a daily schedule. The US major is also the sole operator on Los Angeles – Liberia, albeit only offering a weekly link since making its debut in December 2013.
In our analysis, we look in greater detail at scheduled air capacity to Costa Rica from the US. The data shows this market has seen a varied capacity offering across the past ten years but will hit a peak of almost 1.5 million one-way seats last year and will grow further in 2015, based on published schedules.
In addition to the new international flights to Costa Rica, Alaska Airlines is also introducing a daily service between Los Angeles and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The link will commence on September 9, 2015 and will operate alongside the carrier’s existing link to Reagan National Airport.
“Our new Baltimore service provides passengers greater access to the nation's capital, complementing our daily nonstop service to Reagan National Airport," added Kirby.