Airlines Resume Operations In El Salvador



Hugh Talley


I am updating the information that I have on the opening up of El Salvador, please keep in mind that there seem to be daily changes to the requirements, so check with your airline when booking a flight.

Seventeen passenger, service, and package shipping airlines have been confirmed to resume operations this coming September 19, when the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport is reactivated. The Civil Aviation Authority reported that it has already accepted each of their biosafety protocols. Hence, it is at their discretion the number of flights and schedules that will be announced for the next few days. Avianca, the leading commercial passenger airline in El Salvador, confirmed yesterday that it would resume operations with nine destinations in Central America and the United States and 15 flights on September 19 alone. The other airlines with approved protocols to restart are Spirit, Copa Airlines, Aerorutas Maya, Iberia, American Airlines, Amerijet, Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG), DHL, Delta Airlines, Volaris, United Airlines, Tri-Star, AirSupport, Kitchen of flights, Aerodespacho and Hernández Express. The president of the Autonomous Port Executive Commission (Cepa), Federico Anliker, confirmed that adjustments are still being made with the airlines.   The food and farewell area at the airport will remain closed even at the opening. The Salvadoran airport will be the last in Central America to open its doors to international flights. While most countries have already opened their terminals to tourists in a controlled manner, some must still wait more days.

The other countries in the region began to enable their terminals from the first days of August. Costa Rica was the first to start receiving flights with foreign tourists. It has done so gradually since September 1, receiving at least six weekly flights from the United States. For its part, Honduras resumed its terminal for foreign flights from August 17, and Panama began from August 14 on a limited basis and complying with all biosecurity requirements. In El Salvador, CEPA has already adapted most areas to start welcoming travelers and their families. At this time, there are only transit flights, that is, those passengers who arrive at the airport on an international flight, to continue their journey on another connecting flight without leaving the airport. The Salvadoran air terminal will open its skies to receive passengers and commercial aviation with strict biosafety protocols. It is expected that in October, the air activities will be 100% executed. The plan to reactivate flights in the Central American region has been focused mainly on the conditions of the countries and gradualness, order, harmonization, and operational and health safety. Meanwhile, the government has continued to serve cargo, humanitarian, and repatriation flights of Salvadorans. Also, it has allowed the circulation of local flights in the territory.

El Salvador is also requiring Passengers arriving in the country by air from September 19 from any destination and any nationality must present proof of COVID-19 at the International Airport, the Autonomous Port Executive Commission (ECA) reported this Friday.

“According to the new provisions issued by the Ministry of Health, as of September 19, 2020, it is necessary that all passengers entering El Salvador and any nationality must submit proof of COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) with an original certificate from a laboratory resulting in negative, also that it has been taken no more than 72 hours before the flight”, indicates the note signed by the airport manager, Juan Carlos Canales.

The circular rotated by the ECA official also stresses that any passenger who does not present such evidence will be regarded by the Directorate-General for Migration and Foreign Affairs as “inadmissible.”

I also understand that the United States is requiring people returning from El Salvador to be quarantined for 14 days. This will make it very hard for people to visit here for a week or so and then not to be able to return to work.

I hope that you find this information helpful.

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