Copa Airlines and Spirit Airlines resumes flights to Latin America from Florida after suspending their commercial operations due to travel restrictions imposed by the region’s country governments following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Copa Airlines restarted operations in the United States with flights to Latin America from Miami and New York, implementing the required sanitary measures related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline said that after five months of not operating due to travel restrictions it resumes flights in the United States on August 15 and september 4 added flights to the region from Orlando, Florida, and Los Angeles, California.
Hoy @CopaAirlines aterrizamos en Cancún, luego de casi 6 meses sin poder volar. Aun cuando son tiempos muy difíciles, hay personas que necesitan tomar un descanso de playa. Nos complace que el Hub de las Américas pueda nuevamente conectar nuestro Continente. pic.twitter.com/aO6HsN2Ruf
— Pedro Heilbron (@PedroHeilbron) September 4, 2020
And from this Thursday, September 17, it resumes flights from Washington Dulles International Airport “being the first airline in Latin America to re-operate from Dulles” he told.
The airline is planning to start flights soon from other cities in the United States such as Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Las Vegas, Denver and New Orleans.
Spirit Airlines and Copa Airlines resumes flights to helps thousands of people who need to travel for a variety of reasons
All passengers must meet the requirements established by the airline and the health and immigration authorities of the destination country, such as mandatory quarantine on arrival and PCR testing with negative result to COVID-19.
Flights are subject to restrictions, government approvals and changes, while entry to Argentina, Panama, Uruguay and Chile is permitted only for nationals and residents who meet all the requirements of the authorities of those countries, according to the airline.
Spirit Airlines, in turn, reported that from September 19, it will restart direct flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with a first flight to Cartagena, Colombia.
It said it will be the first airline to enter Colombia with an international commercial flight.
“Being the airline that will operate the first international commercial flight to Colombia from the United States is a sign of our commitment to the country. Joining our passengers with their loved ones, now that borders are reopened, is the best gift we can give them,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO of Spirit Airlines in a press release.
The airline will restart flights from Bogota, Medellin and Cali to Fort Lauderdale from September 21.
“Spirit’s return to our skies is great news for the country, confirming that we are moving firmly towards the recovery of the tourism industry under strict biosecurity protocols,” said Flavia Santoro, President of ProColombia.”
Passengers must submit a negative PCR test result no more than 96 hours before the stipulated travel time, they must register on Colombia’s official migration website.
The process can be done 24 hours in advance and up to one hour before the trip.
Christie reported that since Colombia’s borders were closed due to COVID-19, Spirit Airlines worked in collaboration with the U.S. embassy in Bogota and the Colombian government to conduct humanitarian flights between the two countries.
What began as a single humanitarian flight in early April became nearly 200 flights that repatriated more than 25,000 people between the United States and nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Colombia being the main contributor to this mission, the executive detailed.
Spirit Airlines said that over the past 12 years, it has carried nearly 3 million passengers between Colombia and the United States.
We partnered with the Orlando Fire Department & City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz to help deliver 20 boxes of firefighting gear to departments in Morovis & Orocovis, Puerto Rico. We’re thrilled to have been a part of making this donation possible! @MCO @AeropuertoSJU pic.twitter.com/1T3NaZIQQw
— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) August 6, 2020
Both airlines said they implemented biosecurity measures required by health authorities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic in order to resumes flights.
— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) September 17, 2020
Copa Airlines reported that it has strengthened disinfection measures and protocols. It detailed that all of its aircraft are equipped with high-efficiency filters (HEPA), which purify up to 99.97% of virus and bacteria particles, similar to an operating room.
We’re committed to providing our Guests with Safe Travels. That’s why our fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art HEPA filters that capture 99.97% of particles, completely filtering the air for contaminants every 2-3 minutes.
Learn more: https://t.co/qIIs3IfYRk pic.twitter.com/b8n5qbeP52
— Spirit Airlines (@SpiritAirlines) September 16, 2020
In addition, the cabin air recirculation system renews air every two to three minutes and its vertical movement prevents it from being shared with passengers on the sides and front.
The disinfection process is implemented prior to each flight. Specialized airline equipment is responsible for the hygiene and “exhaustive disinfection” of the interior of aircraft, particularly at high-contact points, using high disinfection products recommended by the authorities.
The boarding of the aircraft will be from back to front, and each passenger will carry out their self-boarding, putting their pass on the scanning device and showing their documentation to the staff on the doorstep.
Regarding physical estating, the airline said protective acrylics have been installed at the counters of airports where it operates, as well as signs in the waiting line. And all their workers wear masks, a requirement that passengers must also meet.
Spirit Airlines said its fleet is also equipped with “latest technology and high efficiency” suspension particle filters (HEPA) that capture 99.97% of the particles and filter air from pollutants every three minutes.
It has expanded aircraft cleaning protocols between each flight, including frequent contact points such as handles, seat belt buckles, folding trays and where passengers rest their arms.
Spirit Airlines uses two EPA-registered nebulization treatments. The first applies a safe, “high-grade disinfectant that is effective against coronavirus“.
The second uses an antimicrobial product that forms an invisible barrier on all surfaces that kills bacteria and viruses on contact for 30 days.
The airline stated that it has several protocols including a regulation requiring all passengers and team members to wear masks.