Colombia plans to resume international flights to Colombia starting on September 1 and international airline tickets can be sold starting on June 1.

The reactivation of international flights to and from Colombia will take place one day after the end of the coronavirus health emergency, which is scheduled in Colombia until August 31.

Many Medellin Guru readers have asked when international flights to Colombia will resume. And Angela María Orozco, Colombia’s Minister of Transport confirmed that international flights to Colombia will resume on September 1, 2020:

With regard to air transport, the restriction on the arrival of international passengers remains until August 31, which is the date until which the health emergency was extended. That means that as of September 1, international passenger transport would be reactivated.

Avianca Airbus A318 at the Medellín airport, photo by Andrés Ramírez

Avianca Airbus A318 at the Medellín airport, photo by Andrés Ramírez

Ban on International Flights to Colombia

Colombia started to ban international flights to Colombia in late March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With international flights new scheduled to resume on September 1, the ban will be for a period of over five months.

Since the ban started, the only international flights permitted to and from Colombia have been humanitarian flights arranged by embassies.

Also, domestic flights are currently banned in Colombia but domestic flights will start to resume on a trial basis in July 2020.

Inside José María Córdova international airport (MDE) serving Medellín

Inside José María Córdova international airport (MDE) serving Medellín

Biosafety Rules When International Flights Resume

Regarding security protocols, the Colombian government anticipates that before a flight and at the time of arrival in the destination city the temperature of the travelers will be taken.

In addition, other biosafety rules will be defined before international flights resume in Colombia on September 1.

Before the ban on international flights to Colombia when the pandemic started, Colombia required travelers to fill out a health questionnaire and arriving passengers were screened. In addition, arriving travelers were required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Also, restricted entry to airports in Colombia is planned, only passengers and those who work in airports will be permitted. Furthermore, electronic screening will be requested from travelers to avoid delays and congestion, among other measures.

When details of biosafety measures for international flights to Colombia are defined we will update this article.

Avianca 767-200 at El Dorado Bogotá Airport, photo by Carlos Colina

Avianca 767-200 at El Dorado Bogotá Airport, photo by Carlos Colina

Major Airlines in Latin America File for Bankruptcy

The two largest airlines in in Latin America, servicing Colombia and other international locations have filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. – LATAM and Avianca.

LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier in May. LATAM was forced to cancel 95 per cent of its flights as the coronavirus pandemic hit Latin America, but announced plans for a gradual recovery of capacity with a fleet of 330 planes, targeting growth of 9 percent in June and 18 percent in July.

Avianca is the second largest airline in Latin America. Avianca filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in May. The bankruptcy postpones Aviana’s obligations to its creditors, giving it time to reorganize its debts or sell parts of the business. Out of all the countries in which Avianca operates, 88 percent have total or partial passenger air transport restrictions.

Avianca LifeMiles, photo courtesy of Avianca

Avianca LifeMiles, photo courtesy of Avianca

Note that Avianca’s Lifemiles loyalty program is not expected to change. Lifemiles is a separate company and is not part of Avianca’s chapter 11 proceeding.

When COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, both LATAM and Avianca plan to resume passenger flights with the strictest biosafety protocols.

Spirit Airbus A319 N532NK at the Medellín airport, photo by Pablo Andrés Ortega Chávez

Spirit Airbus A319 N532NK at the Medellín airport, photo by Pablo Andrés Ortega Chávez

The Bottom Line: International Flights Return to Colombia Starting on September 1

Many readers have asked when international flights will resume in Colombia. The date is now set for September 1 when international flights in Colombia will resume.

However, keep in mind this date could possibly change depending on what happens with the coronavirus pandemic.

Many Medellin Guru readers including foreigners with visas in other countries and Colombians in other countries have wanted to return to Colombia and will be able to starting on September 1. Also, there are many tourists in Colombia that may want to return home.

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Editors note: updated on June 25, 2020 with information that domestic flights resume in Colombia in July 2020.

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