Quito, Jun 16 (EFE) .- Several foreign airlines have already resumed their flights with Ecuador or announced that they will do so in the short term, all under special programs, while the country is reactivating little by little despite the growth in the spread of coronavirus.
Dutch flag carrier KLM made its first flight on Sunday and another five round trips are scheduled until the end of June, one of them today.
A flight from Houston from United also arrived on Tuesday and another was scheduled to arrive from Buenos Aires from Aeroregional.
About 70 passengers arrived on the Houston flight, the vast majority of them Ecuadorians returning to the country after being stranded in various parts of the United States and on what was actually a repatriation flight.
Mónica Egas told Efe when leaving the terminal that “in the United States there was no great protocol” in the terminal.
Before leaving, “they asked us for a PCR test, I had it done, I was sure that nothing was going to happen,” she said.
Once in Quito, the arrival was a little “strange” because instead of going to collect the suitcases “they directed us to take the temperature and fill out health forms” that had been sent to them from the Consulate.
But “they saw that the PCR test was negative and they let us go to quarantine at home.”
For his part, David Ramos, who was in Kansas City on an internship and arrived on the same flight, said that on five previous occasions they canceled his flight, until he decided to take this one.
Like Egas, he also underwent a PCR so that he could be quarantined at his home, instead of some of the shelters arranged by the authorities.
MIAMI THE CITY MOST CONNECTED TO QUITO
At the moment, the most connected city to Quito is Miami, with five consecutive American Airlines flights scheduled until Sunday 21.
For its part, the Spanish flag company Iberia reported this Tuesday that on July 4 it will begin its flights between Madrid and the Ecuadorian capital with a frequency of three days.
The departure from Madrid to Quito will be on Monday, Thursday and Sunday, while the return on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
LATAM has also resumed domestic flights in Ecuador after 90 days of restriction as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first flights to reactivate have been, this week, on the Quito-Guayaquil routes, with four weekly frequencies; and Quito-Cuenca, with three weekly frequencies.
“All of them under strict safety and hygiene protocols for their passengers and crew,” the company reported from Chile.
All flights are taking place under strict security measures in line with the recommendations of the relevant international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and in accordance with the provisions of the country’s health authorities.
These measures usually include the mandatory use of masks by passengers and crew, measures of distance before and after boarding, alcohol gel in aircraft, reduced interaction and disinfection of contact areas in all phases of the trip.
At the national level, Aeroregional flights have also been reactivated, with more remote and less requested destinations such as Loja, Santa Rosa, Esmeraldas or Coca, and Avianca, which flies to Guayaquil and Manta.
The reactivation of flights occurs at a time when the country has decided to go for the de-escalation with a controlled progression of infections, according to the authorities.
According to the latest statistics, the number of infections in Ecuador rose to 47,943 this Tuesday, 621 more than the previous day, and the number of deaths to 3,970, another 41.
COVID-19 infections have increased in the Andean country by 50% and deaths by 253% since the de-escalation began on May 4, while the Government has decided to extend the state of emergency for another 60 days.
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