Situation in South America’s busiest airports

Earlier than the pandemic, South America’s airport trade was on the rise. Let’s take a digital journey to what was once the busiest airports within the area.

South America’s airports are being hit onerous by the coronavirus disaster. Since March 2020, the passenger site visitors in most of them was virtually non-existent with a drop of 92.2% in comparison with 2019, in line with the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation (IATA). Between Might and June 2020, the largest Latin American carriers Aeromexico, Avianca (AVHOQ) and LATAM had been pressured into Chapter 11 chapter safety. 

The vast majority of the airports remained open as a result of ongoing home flights and air cargo operations, which had been very important for the international locations’ economies. Nonetheless, the lower of passengers means losses for the airports. IATA estimates that in Q1 2020 the area’s airports have misplaced $700 million. Mexico and Brazil are recovering faster than different Latin American international locations as a result of home site visitors exercise, identified the affiliation

Some South American international locations are slowly opening for guests, whereas others stay closed. Brazil opened its borders on July 29, Colombia – on September 21, whereas Peru did so on October 5, 2020. Chile is planning to welcome passengers as soon as once more in December 2020. 

São Paulo Guarulhos Airport (Brazil)

São Paulo Guarulhos Airport (GRU) is the busiest airport in Brazil and the nation’s fundamental worldwide gateway. 

On January 20, 2020, the airport celebrated its 35 years of existence. In 1985, it began operations with just one runway when a flight landed from New York. The second runway opened in 1989. In 2019 the airport welcomed 43 million passengers. 

Guarulhos is a hub for Avianca Brazil, LATAM Brazil and Gol. Azul (AZUL) and different regional Brazilian carriers additionally function flights to the airport. GRU is served by all main North American and Latin American carriers, in addition to numerous European carriers.

It’s the main hub within the continent, and the first worldwide airport serving São Paulo. “GRU Airport has the biggest native demand, significantly for outbound tourism flows; it has roughly 30 long-haul locations; and it operates with narrow-body plane, accessible from Ushuaia to Cartagena and San Andrés,” stated João Pita, the Head of Airline Enterprise at GRU Airport to Worldwide Airport Evaluation. 

The airport is trying to enhance its infrastructure. For instance, the terminals to date aren’t related by trains, making the logistics between them much less handy. Additionally, the journey between GRU and the middle of São Paulo can take round two hours by bus because of the site visitors.

Bogotá El Dorado Airport (Colombia)

El Dorado Worldwide Airport (BOG) serves the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. Building of its first passenger terminal began in 1955, and it opened for service in 1959. In 2010, the development of the airport’s second terminal began. T1 grew to become some of the trendy terminals in South America. 

In 2019, the airport welcomed 35 million passengers and had a route map of over 42 nationwide and 48 worldwide locations. In the meantime, there have been discussions concerning the enlargement of the airport to accommodate the rising demand. A doable second airport could possibly be constructed, tentatively generally known as El Dorado II.

“It’s important that Colombia’s fundamental hub airport El Dorado in Bogotá be expanded to deal with the expected demand within the coming 20 years,” stated Peter Cerda, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas.

BOG airport’s fundamental carriers are Avianca (AVHOQ) and LATAM Colombia, whereas low-cost carriers Satena and Wing are additionally based mostly right here.

The airport is happy with its environmental initiatives. It began strong and wastewater recycling packages and can shortly set up photo voltaic panels at BOG to make the gateway extra vitality environment friendly. 

Lima Jorge Chávez Airport (Peru) 

Jorge Chávez Worldwide Airport (LIM) is positioned in Lima – the capital of Peru. Located on the Pacific coast, LIM is used as a connecting hub between South American and Central American international locations and North America. 

In-built 1950, it began working flights in 1960. Its title comes from the Peruvian aviation pioneer Jorge Chávez Dartnell, the primary man to cross the Alps with a monoplane in 1910.LIM’s passenger site visitors development has been constant all through the final decade. Nonetheless, it has seen an uptick of development since 2015. The airport welcomed 23 million passengers in 2019.

On the finish of December 2019, the airport began its enlargement challenge, which features a second runway and a brand new Air Site visitors Management (ATC) tower.

Arturo Merino Benítez Worldwide Airport (Chile)

Also referred to as Santiago Airport (SCL), it’s the fundamental worldwide gateway to Chile and its capital Santiago de Chile. Situated 15km from downtown Santiago it’s the 4th busiest airport in South America. 

The development of the airport began in 1961. In 1980 it opened for operations and was given the title of Arturo Merino Benítez Worldwide Airport in honor of the founding father of the Chilean Air Power and Chilean service LATAM Chile. In March 2007, after a number of reconstructions, the second runway was opened for site visitors. 

It’s the hub for flights to Europe, Oceania and the Americas. The busiest routes are to Lima, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Bogotá, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Panama Metropolis, Miami, Mendoza and Mexico Metropolis. 

In 2019, it welcomed 24.6 million passengers. There have been a complete of 23 airways working flights out of Arturo Merino’s Airport. Roughly 82% of the airport’s flights are operated by LATAM Airways. The second-largest operator is the Chilean low-cost Sky Airline.

In 2020, solely 13 airways had been working from Santiago’s Airport. There have been solely 14 direct routes, a 78% lower as compared with the earlier 12 months. All connectivity to Oceania and North America was misplaced. The Chilean authorities has prohibited foreigners to enter the nation through the pandemic, but it surely plans to elevate the restriction in December 2020. 

São Paulo Congonhas Airport (Brazil)

São Paulo-Congonhas Airport (CGH) is the second busiest airport in Brazil and the fifth busiest airport in South America, having transported almost 21 million passengers in 2019. 

The title Congonhas comes from the neighborhood the place it’s positioned,  beforehand referred to as  Vila Congonhas, former property of the Viscount of Congonhas do Campo, first president of the Province of São Paulo. CGH is owned by the Metropolis of São Paulo however operated by Infraero. Opened in 1936, it is among the oldest civil airports in Brazil.

When the airport opened, the encompassing space had just a few buildings, however with time, the world bought extra populated. To this point, almost 12 million inhabitants stay in São Paulo, the place CGH is positioned. 

The airport has some of the dreadful runways to function in Brazil. The deadliest crash in Brazil’s civil aviation historical past occurred in CGH on July 17, 2007. A TAM Airways Airbus A320 overran the runway and crashed into a close-by warehouse because it landed in wet situations, killing all 187 folks onboard and 12 folks on the bottom. 

After the incident, a number of restrictions had been set on the airport to enhance security, which led to CGH dropping its worldwide airport standing. Congonhas Airport is especially working home flights and is restricted to 30 operations per hour with narrow-body plane. CGH’s fundamental airways are LATAM, GOL (the biggest home airline in Brazil), and Azul Brazilian airways.

In April 2020, Congonhas Airport had no common flights in anyway. There was a rise in site visitors through the months of June-July but it surely was interrupted by development works by Infraero. Till September 2020, solely smaller airplanes had been capable of land in CGH.

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