Budget airline Wingo officially started service between Panama City and San Jose, Costa Rica, on June 21, providing a new low-cost option connecting the two popular tourist destinations.
The flights are operating twice a week, Monday and Friday. Prices are expected to book at about $200, but Wingo’s site is offering promotional rates at $62 for the flight from San Jose to Panama’s Tocumen International. (Of course, seat selection and baggage are extra.)
On one level, this is simply a story about reopening and the world taking another step back to normal. Airlines announcing new flights is the type of thing that happens when busy is ramping up and people are starting to travel internationally again.
“At Wingo, we want to be an engine of reactivation with the objective that the Panamanian tourism industry consolidates, once again, as one of the strongest in the region,” said the general director of Wingo, Carolina Cortizo.
Frequent travelers in the region will also be happy to see Wingo — and any budget airline — opening up routes and connecting more cities. The more flights, the more competition, the better the airfares for travelers.
There are also natural connections between Costa Rica and Panama, especially for many ex-pats. Flights that make it easier to get back and forth from Costa Rica will help open up tourism and business.
“We know that the opening of this route will be a stimulus for thousands of travelers to visit the country and enjoy all that Panama has to offer,” Cortizo said.
Wingo, a subsidiary of Copa, is trying to carve out its own niche in the region, marketing its “really low prices, fly on time and enjoy lots of good vibes.” The airline flies a fleet of six Boeing 737-800 airplanes, including connections from Panama to Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, and Cartagena.
“We will continue to demonstrate that traveling abroad with pleasure and inexpensively, in an airline that takes care of the traveler, is possible with Wingo,” Cortizo said.