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An Avianca Brasil A320 (Photo: Rafael Luiz Canossa [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)])

Colombia Resumes 63 Routes As Part of Plan to Reinstate Connectivity

Throughout September, Colombia has resumed commercial airline operations. Domestic flights were allowed back to the skies on Sept. 1 and international fights restarted on Sept. 19. As the country continues to reopen its skies, Colombia announced it will be reopening 63 domestic routes from major cities such as Bogotá, Medellin, Cali and Cartagena, according to Latin American portal Aviaciónline.

In a document distributed by Colombia’s civil aviation authority, as part of the nation’s second phase of transport activities resumption, flights from Bogotá, the Colombian capital, to 28 destinations in various cities and towns throughout the country will be allowed to resume. This includes connections to destinations such as Barranquilla, Pereira, Bucaramanga and Manizales.

In the same vein, 10 routes have been allowed to resume from the country’s second most populated city, Medellin; eight from Cali; five from Bucaramanga; two from Cartagena and Barranquilla and one from both Cúcuta and Santa Marta. Due to Colombia’s complex geography, air travel is pivotal to guaranteeing safe and effective connectivity within the country.

After months of stakeholder calls for flights, authorities have recognized the importance of air travel for Colombia. Such is the extent of having transport resumption as a priority for authorities. The ministry of transport’s slogan of “El Camino es Reactivar” translated as “The Way Forward is to Resume,” is an accurate resemblance of the government’s approach to tackling the challenges that lie ahead.

Last Saturday, Colombia resumed international scheduled operations with departures from Cartagena to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, becoming one of the first South American countries to resume scheduled services to the United States.

In order to resume commercial flights safely, Colombia’s Health and Transport ministries worked together to develop a series of health and safety protocols to ensure practices such as enforcing social distancing throughout the travel experience as well as the response mechanisms in case passengers are suspected of being infected with COVID-19 on flights. Prior to restarting operations, airlines were audited by authorities on the compliance of these measures.

Colombia also became one of the first Latin American countries to reopen its borders to international visitors as it started welcoming arrivals from Sept. 21. Initially, the country allowed arrivals from the USA, Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. However, it is expected to open to arrivals from more destinations soon, potentially taking into account reciprocity with destinations the country is opening up to in allowing Colombians in too.  As is becoming the norm around the world, the country requires all arrivals to present a negative PCR test result taken no more than 96 hours before departure.

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