What a year it has been! First the Covid-19 pandemic shut travel worldwide, stranding thousands of travelers and making for extraordinary homeward bound journeys. When the airports in Honduras reopened, Air Europa was one of the first airlines to resume service to Honduras. Then when no one expected it, two major hurricanes hit Honduras in November, late in during the hurricane season in Honduras. The storms, ETA and IOTA wreaked havoc throughout Honduras due to the heavy rainfall they produced. Perhaps the most visible damage is at the Sula Valley, where the San Pedro Sula International Airport was under six feet underwater.
Damage at the airport was so bad, that it was closed, and work is still ongoing to get it back to be operational. San Pedro Sula is the gateway into Honduras. There are more flights and airlines into this airport than there are to Tegucigalpa. This includes both, passenger, and cargo airlines. The closure has dealt a crippling blow to the economy of Honduras. Honduras is the only country in Central America that has four operational international airports: Toncontin in Tegucigalpa (TGU), Ramon Villeda Morales in San Pedro Sula (SAP), Juan Manuel Galvez in Roatan (RTB), and Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba (LCE).
Air Europa Resumes Service to Honduras via Goloson Airport in La Ceiba
Since SAP San Pedro Sula is not operational, Air Europa resumes service to Honduras using the Goloson airport in La Ceiba, on the north coast of Honduras. Their first flight took place last Thursday, December 10. They have a total of 6 scheduled flights through December to this airport. Although the airport is not well known, it boasts that largest civil aviation runway in Honduras, with 2,950 meters in length. The Boing 787-900 Dreamliner that landed there last Thursday had no trouble landing or taking off. This marked a historic event in Honduras! It was the first flight with a regular schedule using this aircraft to Honduras.
The Honduras Minister of Tourism, Nicole Marrder was in La Ceiba to personally receive incoming passengers. The fact that Air Europa resumes service to Honduras is important. The folks from La Ceiba were excited that the airline chose to renew services via their airport instead of waiting for San Pedro Sula to reopen. Many businesses had a sign that read Welcome Air Europa to La Ceiba! Tourism businesses in this city, expect an increase in business thanks to this flight. La Ceiba is the capital of the department of Atlantida.
The most significant result of this operation is that it proves that the La Ceiba airport can receive international flights. Up until recently, the only other international airline with a schedule into La Ceiba was Cayman Airways. They offer a nonstop flight from Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island to La Ceiba that operates twice a week. The flight has not been active due to the COVID-19 restrictions in effect on that island. However, we expect flights will resume by this coming February.