Panama’s first low-cost airline, Vivacolombia that has ferried hundreds of thousands of passengers to and from Colombia over the last two years will not be seen in the skies over the capital city after Sunday, May 20.
To avoid the company leaving the isthmus, Tocumen International Airport authorities have proposed that it move its operation to Colón airport where the airport tax would be reduced to $10.
A proposal has been sent to executives of Vivacolombia, for the move to the terminal Enrique Jiménez de Colón.
Carlos Duboy, manager of Tocumen S.A. says that ” t makes sense for the company to move to Colón because that is where the cruise homeport operations are and a significant number of the passengers who board ships every Friday are Colombians.”
Regarding the refusal to lower the airport tax in Panama Pacifico, Duboy told La Prensa that ” … it is not feasible for Tocumen to reduce airport charges in that terminal, as requested by Viva Colombia, because that would be ‘a blow’ for the public limited company, which last week issued $225 million dollars in bonds in order to continue funding its expansion plan.”
At the beginning of May, the low-cost airline announced that it would stop flying between Panama and the cities of Medellín and Bogotá, citing high operating costs and the increase in the airport tax.
In a statement, the airline said that “… Vivacolombia, the first low-cost airline in the country, announces that it will cancel its Bogota-Panama-Bogotá and Medellín-Panama-Medellín routes as of May 20, 2018. This decision is made taking into account the high operating costs and the increase in the airport tax which went from $15 to $35, representing an increase of 135%.”