- IATA Code
- International Airlines serving this country (excluding codeshares)
Four main carriers dominate the aviation industry within Costa Rica; the national carrier is LACSA (Lineas Aereas Costarricenses S.A.), which is based at Juan Santamaria International airport in San José. Other airlines include Aeropostal Alas de Centroamerica (a LCC), Nature Air and Sansa. Lacsa and Sansa Airlines are both subsidiaries of the TACA group.
The Director General Civil Aviation Costa Rica is responsible for the regulation of the country’s aviation sector and providing air traffic services.
Airports in Costa Rica
295 total articles
Avianca to suspend five Costa Rica services from 25-May-2013 and layoff 261 as part of restructuring
20 total articles
TACA Peru is planning further expansion with the introduction of widebody aircraft, two A330s, which will be used initially to increase capacity to Buenos Aires, Bogota and Miami. The upcoming expansion at the Avianca-TACA subsidiary follows rapid growth by the Peruvian carrier over the last two years in both the domestic and international markets. TACA Peru earlier this year became the second largest carrier in the country’s fast-growing domestic market, a position it has had for several years in Peru’s international market.
The new fleet of Lima-based A330s should help Avianca-TACA close the gap with rival LATAM, which is by far the largest airline group in Peru and the broader South American market. Avianca-TACA has been focusing on expanding its Lima hub, which is well positioned as a north-south hub for the fast-growing intra-Latin American market, as congestion at its main hub at Bogota increases. TACA Peru is one of several TACA carriers being rebranded Avianca in 1H2013 as Avianca-TACA finally moves to a single brand three years after it completed its merger.
Avianca Brazil plans to slow down expansion in 2013, taking a hiatus following a growth spurt which saw the carrier more than double in size in less than two years. Avianca Brazil’s outlook remains bright despite Brazil’s challenging market, which has led the country’s two largest carriers to cut domestic capacity, as it is poised to benefit from anticipated membership in the Star Alliance and the possible acquisition of TAP Portugal by its parent company.
Avianca Brazil is 100% owned by Brazilian investment firm Synergy Group, which is also the largest shareholder in Avianca-TACA Holding, the parent of several carriers in other Latin America countries including four members of the Star Alliance. Synergy is also the only remaining bidder in the sale of Star member TAP Portugal, which has an extensive network in Brazil that would add significant value to Avianca Brazil’s all-domestic network.
Six carriers from Latin American airline groups Avianca-TACA and Copa are formally entering the Star Alliance on 21-Jun-2012, marking the first of several key alliance movements in the fast-growing Latin American market. The six carriers – which include two from Colombia and one each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama and Peru – will temporarily widen Star’s market-leading position in Latin America. But the gain will not offset the upcoming loss of Latin America’s largest airline TAM, which will be exiting Star within 24 months. Star would find itself as the third biggest alliance in the key Latin American market under the increasingly likely scenario of TAM joining new sister carrier LAN in oneworld and Brazil’s other major carrier, Gol, being affiliated with SkyTeam.
Star has enjoyed the status of Latin America’s largest alliance since TAM joined in May-2010. Star has since accounted for about 20% of total capacity in the Latin America and Caribbean region, compared to about 14% for oneworld and 10% for SkyTeam.
A decision by Houston City Council to allow Southwest Airlines to press forward with the 2015 launch of international flights from Hobby Airport is a vote that the new service will blunt United’s threatened cuts from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which could result in a capacity reduction of up to 10% at the largest hub in United’s network. United will also axe plans to introduce long-haul flights, including to Auckland, but United is using Southwest's win as an excuse to make these overdue network changes.
The battle between Southwest, United and the City of Houston flared earlier this year as Southwest approached the Houston Airport System (HAS) to conduct a feasibility study examining the development of a new terminal at Hobby to accommodate short-haul international flights from the airport to Mexico, Central and South America.
Aeromexico’s new codeshare agreement with Brazilian carrier TAM represents the second agreement Mexico’s largest carrier has signed with a non-SkyTeam carrier in the last two months. The partnerships reflect the need for both Star and SkyTeam carriers to access key markets in Latin and Central America that are not available through their respective alliance partners.
The Avianca-TACA relationship with Aeromexico, announced in Mar-2012, was surprising given that the Kriete family, which is a main shareholder in Avianca-TACA, is also a major holder in Aeromexico’s competitor Volaris. But Aeromexico has been pursuing a tie-up with Colombia’s largest carrier, Avianca, since it started Mexico City-Bogota flights in 2010. The chance was brushed aside once Avianca-TACA opted to join the Star Alliance, but now the agreement will include more connections than just Bogota as Avianca-TACA cited an ability to partner with Aeromexico on flights to Central and South America during the second half of this year.
IATA, Boeing and Airbus have again noted the potential of the Latin American market, with IATA describing the region as a “bright spot in the aviation world” and Airbus commenting that Latin America’s aviation sector “has never been stronger”, following a boom in the sector over the past five years. Boeing has similarly noted the large potential in the Latin America market in its market forecast.
Latin America is “the only region generating aggregate profits for three consecutive years," IATA CEO and director general Tony Tyler noted at ALTA this month. On the outlook for the region, he commented: “Taking a long-term view of Latin American aviation, one can only be optimistic. The economic potential of this vast and varied geography can only be realised with a successful aviation industry”.