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Two Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200 sitting on the ramp in Asunción back in 2018. (Photo: João Machado)

Paraguay Resumes Commercial Flights

The main Paraguayan international airport, Silvio Pettirossi located in Asunción, resumed its commercial activities on Oct. 21, which were suspended since March 24. The Guaraní airport, located in the city of Minga Guazú, Alto Paraná, also restarted its operations.

The official resumption of the commercial routes took place during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Silvio Pettirossi airport, with the presence and participation of the Paraguayan President, Mario Abdo Benítez.

According to IP, during the months of April, May, June, July, August and September, the number of passengers decreased by 91%, while the number of flights decreased by 46%. In turn, air cargo decreased by 21%.

In the last seven months, the airport continued to operate with humanitarian flights and since September bubble flights have been implemented between Asunción, Paraguay and Montevideo, Uruguay.

A strict sanitary protocol established by the Ministry of Public Health has been implemented in both airports for travelers, airlines and airport workers.

Despite the financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Direction of Civil Aeronautics (DINAC) promoted a series of works after 40 years, despite a 55% drop in revenue. These works consisted of the expansion of the air terminal, improvement of the main runway and the corresponding readjustment in accordance with the biosafety protocol. For this purpose, $783 million were invested.

The president of the DINAC, Felix Kanazawa, stated that most of the airlines operating in Paraguay have already begun to commercialize flight tickets and he expects that activities will begin to normalize from November.

The Government has granted to airlines the payment exemption of four fees for airport services: flight protection, operations, aircraft parking and ground handling services for a period of six months.

The goal is to return to pre-pandemic levels and follow the trend of growth and development. To do this, the Paraguayan Government recognized that the key is to regain the confidence of the passengers so that they can fly safely again.

According to aviacionline, the airlines and destinations that will be reactivated in the coming weeks are the following: Air Europa will resume flights between Madrid and Asunción; Amaszonas will resume operations between Montevideo and Asunción, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Asunción; Avianca will be operating flights between Bogotá and Asunción; Copa Airlines will resume flights between Panama City and Asunción; LATAM will resume operations between Lima and Asunción, Sao Paulo and Asunción, and Santiago de Chile and Asunción; and, Paranair will be operating flights between Asunción and Montevideo.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
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