Latam-Ecuador will resume service between Quito and Guayaquil and the Galapagos on August 3, offering two flights a week. They will be the first commercial flights to the islands since March 16 when the Covid-19 health emergency was declared.
“We are beginning small but hope to return to 100% of the frequencies we operated prior to the pandemic,” said Édgar Andrade, Latam-Ecuador director.
Andrade added that more Galapagos flights will be added as demand grows.
The airline currently operates ten to twelve weekly flights on the Quito-Guayaquil route, five to six on the Quito-Cuenca route and three on the Quito-Coca route.
The resumption of Latam operations in the Galapagos coincides with the expansion of frequencies authorized by the national Emergency Operations Committee, from 30% to 50% of pre-pandemic levels, Andrade said.
One of the requirements for tourists visiting the archipelago is to present negative results of a PCR Covid-19 test taken a maximum of 96 hours before the trip.
Latam began selling tickets beginning at $196 on the Guayaquil-Galapagos route.
Avianca, which also provides service to the Galapagos, will resume operations on August 9 with a Sunday flight to Baltra.
Andrade acknowledged that the Covid test requirement may affect the number of passengers arriving in the Galapagos in the early stages but says the impact will decline over time. “People are becoming more accustomed to the requirement and understand its importance. Our hope is that we will be able to drop it altogether within a matter of months.”