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Cheaper Cuenca flights go on sale as government prepares to introduce fuel subsidy

For several hours on Monday, air travelers were able to purchase on-line round-trip tickets from Cuenca to Quito for $37. Although deep-discount promotional fares come and go, Latam Airlines said all ticket prices will drop during the month of December.

Latam Airlines is offering promotional fares in December.

“We are beginning to offer promotional fares to encourage people to reconsider air travel to and from Cuenca,” says Manuel van Oordt, Ecuador’s Latam executive director. “The bargains offer a great opportunity to travel and represent a major saving for those who work in Quito and travel to Cuenca to see families this time of year,” he said.

The promotions, as well as lower fares in general, are the result of a 40% fuel subsidy that will be offered by the government beginning next week. “Our interest is to revitalize air travel in Ecuador, both for business and pleasure,” said Paúl Granda, minister of transport and public works. “We expect the country’s airports to become much busier in the coming months as more people take advantage of the new rates.”

Following the government’s fuel subsidy announcement last month, Latam announced that it will add 1,200 seats a month to its Cuenca – Quito route. Weekly flight frequency between the cities will increase from 11 to 19.

The airlines will also increase the frequency of flights to Guayaquil.

According to Granda, government-owned Tame Air, will also begin offering reduced-rate fares.

8 thoughts on “Cheaper Cuenca flights go on sale as government prepares to introduce fuel subsidy

  1. Are they looking to have evening flights that would allow connections with incoming U.S. flights? The overnight in Quito is a pain.

    1. Probably not, Hotel Owners Associations in Ecuador seem to have an inordinate amount of power, at least in Quito and Cuenca.

  2. Make sure you understand what you’re buying. We bought a “cheap” LATAM ticket through Expedia only to discover at the airport that our fare didn’t include checked luggage. Yesterday returning from the US with two checked bags each Cynthia & I paid $100 in baggage fees ($20 for the 1st & $30 for the 2nd)–more than the price of the tickets! Ouch.

    1. That’s true for all flights on LatAM. They offer cheap fares for just “get on, sit down, and shut up” seats but anything else is extra.

      Cuenca hasn’t had decent airline service since Avianca (AroGal) left. Cuenca is way too small a market to be profitable.

      1. Actually, Latam turns a profit on Cuenca-Quito, although it’s not a big one. Cuenca has the same problem as a lot of small and medium size airports in the U.S. At least now, we’ll get a break on fare and maybe a new airline or two.

    2. Latam announced it was going to the budget carrier model (no more free checked bags) earlier this year so their luggage policy has nothing to do with the new fares. I just got back from the U.S. and was eaten up with luggage fees — seems like all the airlines are adding them unless you buy first class.

  3. Many years ago we would fly into Quito from the states because we were afraid of Guayaquil’s reputation as a dangerous city. We traveled with four children. Now, I wouldn’t do it any other way but to fly into and out of Guayaquil. After a good night’s sleep and breakfast in a comfortable Guayaquil hotel, we’re ready for the final leg of our trip to Cuenca.
    There’s no need to keep a schedule because busses depart every hour. Busses don’t charge a “checked baggage” fee. The 4-5 hour trip is not so long that it becomes uncomfortable. During the trip one can read, sleep, watch a van damme movie, or just look out the window. At certain times of the year the bus may have to detour around a landslide, but that’s just another part of the “fun” here in Ecuador.

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