MONTEVIDEO – The number of Colombian tourists visiting Uruguay, estimated at around 30,000, could rise by up to 40 percent, thanks to the new daily flight to the Southern Cone country that Avianca will start on May 15, Deputy Tourism Minister Benjamin Liberoff said Thursday.
“The flight is already on sale on the screens and based on what they told me, it’s selling well,” Liberoff said during a presentation at the Transportation and Public Works Ministry.
Bogota can serve as a hub, drawing travelers from other parts of the Americas to Uruguay, Liberoff said.
“What we’re doing today is a very important announcement, winding up a process that took a few years. It makes us think about the possibilities not just in tourism, but in trade, we hope this contributes to developing us,” the deputy tourism minister said.
Transportation and Public Works Minister Victor Rossi, for his part, said the new airline route provided the possibility for direct links to North America, northern South America and the Pacific region “that we needed to strengthen Uruguay’s connectivity to all of the Americas.”
Avianca executive Carla Calvete, who is in charge of the carrier’s operations in Uruguay, said the daily Bogota-Montevideo flights were ideal for business meetings.
“You leave Uruguay at 7:57 in the morning Uruguayan time (1057 GMT) and arrive in Bogota at 12:45 local time (1745 GMT), allowing for good connections in the midday time block for both domestic and international connections,” Calvete said
“From Bogota, you leave at 22:20 Colombian time (0320 GMT) and return at 7:01 in the morning to Montevideo (1001 GMT), you can go and return in one day for business connections,” the Avianca executive said.
Avianca plans to use Airbus 319s on the new route with a capacity of 120 passengers and fares of about $530.
The government is working with other carriers to add more flights to Uruguay and more announcements are expected this year, Rossi said.