Only four days after the government announced that Tame Airlines’ Cuenca-to-Guayaquil flighs would be suspended for a year, it announced Monday that they will resume in July.
The reason for the sudden change? Give the credit to former Cuenca mayor Paúl Granda, now Minister of Public Works in President Lenin Moreno’s administration.
Last Tuesday, government-owned Tame Airlines announced it was extending its suspension of flights between Cuenca and Guayaquil to 120 days from the original 60. On Friday, Ecuador’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) authorized the carrier to drop the route for a full year. Tame ended service of 19 weekly flights to Guayaquil on April 17.
In a Monday morning meeting at the Cuenca Chamber of Industries, Granda said that an agreement has been reached with Tame, the city of Cuenca, and local business interests. “The resumption of flights is a joint effort between the interested parties,” Granda said. “The flights must cover all operating costs and this will require the commitment of both the public and private sectors. This cannot be a losing proposition for Tame.”
According to Granda, Tame will resume flying the route during the third or fourth week of July, using prop-powered ATR 42-500 aircraft.
Granda said that a committee made up of members of the ministries of public works and transportation, the municipality and the Cuenca business community will be formed to oversee the financial security of the flights.
The former mayor also urged the Cuenca Mariscal La Mar Airport authority to consider reducing fees to both Tame and Latam airlines.
Mayor Marcelo Cabrera, who defeated Granda in 2014, said he was happy about the deal. “This is not about politics. It is about serving the people and businesses of Cuenca. I am elated that we reached this agreement.”