Yes, after more than two months, the San Pedro Sula Airport reopens! As you may recall, the airport first closed after Tropical Storm ETA poured extreme amounts of rain over Western Honduras. This rain found its way to the Sula Valley via the Ulua River Watershed. The excess rain flooded the lower Sula Valley, and the San Pedro Sula airport runway ended up over 7 feet underwater! The flood waters contained all sorts of debris and soil, so when the water finally receded, a few days later, it was all a muddy mess.
San Pedro Sula: the Gateway into Honduras
The San Pedro Sula airport is the main gateway into Honduras. There are more flights and airlines operating to this airport that there are to Toncontin International Airport in Tegucigalpa. In addition to the disruption of passenger service, this is also the main air cargo terminal in Honduras. As such, the economic impact of having the airport closed was huge. Work to rehabilitate the facility begun immediately, only to be flooded a second time a few days later, thanks to Tropical Storm IOTA.
Tropical Storms and Hurricanes are no strangers to Honduras. We usually get a big one every twenty or so years. While it is true that the last big storm, Hurricane Mitch was over twenty years ago, this double punch consisting of two big storms within two weeks was brutal. Nicaragua took the brunt of the storms. However the mountainous geography of Honduras captured all the humidity and turned it into massive amount of rain.
After two months, the fact that the San Pedro Sula airport reopens is significant. It means that the main aerial port of entry to Honduras is back up and running. This last week, Spirit Air took up its operations there, with flights from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Houston. They are expecting to open a new route from New Orleans shortly. Air Europa, which operates the only flight from Europe to Honduras will resume service as of this week. They had been operating their service out of Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba for the past month. La Ceiba is 200 km east of San Pedro Sula, and this meant that incoming and outgoing passengers on the nonstop flight from Madrid had to travel the extra mile.
More Airlines Soon to Follow
Other airlines that had discontinued their service should soon start operating now that the San Pedro Sula Airport reopens. Aeromexico should commence service to Mexico City as of February 2. American Airlines and United Airlines have been offering service to Honduras via Toncontin International Airport and Roatan International Airport. They will be back in San Pedro Sula this week, with the first flights starting January 14. The can say the same can for Copa Airlines and Avianca. Avianca resumes service on January 17, and Copa will do so on February 2. Delta Airlines, the only other large United States airline will to renew service to Honduras by February 1st. Please take note that as the San Pedro Sula Airport reopens, they are requesting travelers to arrive 5 hours prior to their departure schedule. Also, make sure you fill o out your immigration form before arriving at the airport.
Although the charter flights from Canada into Roatan where cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sun Country Airlines, based out of the twin cities of St. Paul – Minneapolis is offering nonstop service once a week. This is obviously great news for the snowbirds trying to escape the so far brutal winter in North America. The fact that the San Pedro Sula Airport reopens brings us hope that tourism into Honduras will slowly, but surely begin to grow once again. If you are planning a trip to Honduras, I suggest you check out our updated Honduras Travel Advisory 2021 article to help you make the best of your experience!