Peru will open its airspace for international commercial flights from Monday 5 October 2020. As part of the measures to contain the Covid 19 pandemic, it had been closed for six months, affecting around ten million travelers. The connection will initially be made to eleven destinations in seven countries, with a maximum flight time of four hours. The first airlines to take off and land at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima are Chilean “Latam Airlines”, “SKY” and “JetSMART”. Later, the Colombian “Viva Air” and the Panamanian “COPA” are added. The destinations that allow a connection with Peru are Guayaquil and Quito (Ecuador), La Paz and Santa Cruz (Bolivia); Bogotá, Cali and Medellín (Colombia), Panama City (Panama), Asunción (Paraguay), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Santiago (Chile). Although Brazil and Mexico have open borders, they were not included in this first phase because the flights take more than four hours.
As already reported by the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Estremadoyro, up to 21 percent of operational capacity will be restored in the first phase, which means 167 flights per week compared to the 730 flights operated by the airport before the pandemic. The Ministry of Transport expects around 40,000 people to travel in October, more than 86,000 in November and 91,000 in December for the year-end vacations.
The airline “Latam Airlines”, the largest airline in Latin America, with its subsidiary in Peru, will start operations to fifteen domestic destinations from Lima as of Monday and will also start international flight operations with a previously undefined itinerary. The airline has regulated flights to nine international destinations (Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, Montevideo in Uruguay, Sao Paulo/Guarulhos in Brazil, Guayaquil in Ecuador, Bogotá in Colombia, Miami, Los Angeles, New York in the United States and Madrid in Spain). Another airline that confirmed operations in Peru on Monday is the Chilean low-cost airline “SKY”. The company announced that it will initially offer four flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. “With this new start, we can continue to recover from the most difficult year the tourism and commercial aerospace sectors have experienced. We are ready to return,” said José Raúl Vargas, General Manager of “SKY” in Peru.
“JetSMART” will operate the first flight from Santiago de Chile to Lima on October 5th. The company stated that this route will be operated twice a week and is also considering restarting the Santiago-Trujillo and Santiago-Arequipa connections. One week after the reopening of the airspace in Peru, the airlines “VivaAir” and “Copa” will start operations. The Colombian company will start operating flights to Peru on the Bogotá-Lima – Bogotá and Medellín-Lima-Medellín routes with a daily connection from 15 October. “Viva Air” will also offer domestic connections to Cuzco, Arequipa, Iquitos and Cajamarca. In the meantime, the Panamanian “COPA” will fly again from Panama City to Lima from October 16th (two flights per day, except Sundays). For the reverse route from Lima to Panama City, the flights will start on Saturday, October 17th.
Peru closed its airports in mid-March when the first case of Covid-19 occurred. Over 815,000 people were infected with the virus, the second highest number in Latin America. Deaths in the country reach almost 33,000, with the highest death rate from corona viruses in the world. Against this background, the country will require a negative PCR test for those who will travel. The test is a condition and its validity will be checked at the airport.