Seventy percent of domestic air travlers in Ecuador fly for business reasons, says the national Directorate of Civil Aviation. The other 30% fly for family, personal or touristic reasons.
The directorate also said that the most popular destinations are Quito and Guayaquil with Cuenca third. Other high traffic routes, in order, are Coca, Manta and Baltra.
In 2012, 3.7 million passengers traveled on public air lines in Ecuador, mostly using the largest carriers, LAN, Aerogal and Tame, according to directorate records. The most popular route was Quito-Guayaquil-Quito, with a 47.5% market share.
Accoring to Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador’s largest travel agency, most air travelers are business executives and salespeople, with employees of food, oil and drug companies, being the most frequent flyers. Those flying for government puproses make up the next largest group. "Business flyers are the most important sector in the national market, with many company representatives flying more than once week a week,” says Monserrate Bravo, Metropolitan corporate manager.
Bravo added that travel to the new airport in Baltra, in the Galapagos, make up the largest market share for tourism purposes.
Heavy rains prove deadly on Ecuador's coast
At least 12 people, including two children, have been killed by flooding from torrential rains in Ecuador’s coastal region. The worst flooding and damage occured in the southwestern section of the country, near Guayaquil, where the deaths were reported.
In the small town of Posarja, 40 residents reported losing all of their belongings, including livestock, that was washed into local rivers.
Fishermen in several areas, as far north as Manta, reporting loss or damage to fishing boats.
Ecuador’s national weather authority reported that rainfall totals, through Wednesday, reached as high as 15 inches (38 centimeters) in some areas since heavy rains began eight days ago. Many of the coastal areas receiving flooding rains are desert, where annual rainfual is less than seven inches. “In these places, large amounts of rainfall can be devastating,” said a spokeman for the weather agency.
President declares a three day mourning period for Chavez
Ecuador President Rafael Correa declared a three-day period of mourning on Wednesday following the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Public memorial gatherings are being held in major cities along with a number of religious services.
Correa flew to Caracas Thursday morning, joining leaders of other nations to attend the Friday state funeral for Chavez.
Photo caption: The Cuenca airport terminal.