Turpial Airlines has reconnected Venezuela and Colombia after two and a half years of suspended flights in the South American countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, November 7 2022, a Boeing 737-400 (registration number YV613T) became the first flight to carry forty-nine passengers from Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS) to El Dorado International Airport (BOG) since the pandemic stopped air travel indefinitely.
A Welcomed Development
The country welcomed this development with open arms. The aviation industry witnessed several aircraft grounded worldwide, flights cut, and employees laid off. The last non-stop flight between the two countries was in March 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic redefining how we travel for the long term.
Before the pandemic, the Colombian capital city of Bogotá was Venezuela’s primary South American market. Post-pandemic, Colombia is one of the countries authorized by the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) to operate both regular and cargo flights in Venezuelan territory twice a week (Mondays and Saturdays).
The airline has 27 flights scheduled from now through December 30.
Caracas (CCS) – Bogota (BOG)
- Flight T9 8820 CCS 17:00 – BOG 17:30 Monday.
- Flight T9 8820 CCS 18:00 – BOG 18:30 Saturday.
Bogota (BOS) – Caracas (CCS)
- Flight T9 8821 BOG 18:30 – CCS 21:00 Monday.
- Flight T9 8821 BOG 19:30 – CCS 22:00 Saturday.
A Little Background Story
Weeks before travelling borders were closed due to the pandemic, the US government backlisted Venezuela’s national airline Líneas Aéreas Conviasa US, for its involvement with President Nicolas Maduro. He is believed to use the carrier for political purposes.
More than two years later, the airline has remained grounded and unable to resume operations between the two cities. Still, Turpial Airlines has come to the rescue bridging the travelling distance between the two countries/cities after it was licenced by the Colombian Aeronautical Authority to officially begin operation in the country on September 26, 2022.
Other airlines have also been authorized by the Colombian Aeronautical Authority to operate in the country and will be joining Turpial Airlines on the block soon.
Other Airlines Will Soon Be Joining Turpial Airlines
Although Turpial Airlines is the first to reconnect, they are not alone in this post-pandemic comeback. Colombia’s Aerocivil has authorized Avianca, Avior, Laser, LATAM, and Wingo airlines to start operations in Venezuela soon.
Columbian airline Satena will also resume flights between the two South American cities from Wednesday, November 9.
The largest carrier in Latin America, LATAM, and Bogata-based flag carrier Avianca are both making plans to resume flight services between the two capital cities seven times a week. Caracas-based Laser Airlines also seeks to operate flights seven times a week, but this time, it will be between Columbia and Venezuela’s Central Region city of Maiquetia.
Wingo airlines have also applied to fly three routes from Colombia: Bogota-Caracas, Medellin-Caracas, and Bogota-Valencia.
About Turpial Airlines
Turpial Airlines was founded in 2016 in Valencia, Venezuela, by a group of entrepreneurs and began operations in 2017. It has been licensed to operate regular and non-regular flights and cargo flights in Venezuela and internationally.
The airline currently has a fleet of 3 Boeing 737-400 aircraft and operates from Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia. It is the only airline in the country that runs from that part of the country instead of its capital, Caracas.
Turpial operates six destinations within Venezuela(Maracaibo, Maturín, Porlamar, Puerto Ordaz, Santo Domingo and Valencia). Internationally, it covers the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, and Colombia.
Were you a regular flyer to these cities before the pandemic? What do you think of the resumption of flights to these cities? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment.