Avianca-Taca shake-up to affect 50,000 passengers in Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica May 21 (Reuters) - Airline Avianca-Taca said on Tuesday that the cancellation of five routes to and from Costa Rica will affect some 50,000 passengers who will have to be re-routed or given refunds if they prefer.
The cancelled routes between San Jose and Los Angeles, New York, Havana, Quito and Guayaquil account for 24 flights to and from Costa Rica's International Airport Juan Santamaria every week, said Claudia Arenas, communications director at Bogota-based Avianca-Taca.
Passengers who were due to fly these routes from next week until the end of this year will be re-routed through either San Salvador or Bogota. Passengers unwilling to take a different route will be refunded.
Costa Rica's Tourism Chamber estimates the country could lose some 7,000 tourists every month due to the cancellation of these routes.
Costa Rica's Tourism Minister Allan Flores said other airlines would be taking over some of the routes, with Delta Air Lines planning to operate a flight from Los Angeles in July.
Avianca-Taca, which was formed from the merger of Colombian firm Avianca and El Salvador's Taca in 2010, also laid off 261 employees in Costa Rica.