Emirates Plans Colombia Entry With Fifth-Freedom Route
Emirates has submitted an application to Colombia's civil aviation authority Aerocivil proposing a new passenger route to Bogotá, the country’s capital.
The planned fifth-freedom service would link Dubai International Airport and Bogotá’s El Dorado International Airport (BOG), with a frequency of up to seven times per week. Flights would operate with a stopover at Miami International Airport.
If approved, the service would utilize Boeing 777-200 or 777-300 aircraft, marking Emirates’ first venture into passenger services to Colombia, having previously only operated cargo flights. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the airline offered freighter service to Bogotá via Mexico City Juarez International Airport in 2019.
Aerocivil is expected to review Emirates’ application at a public meeting on Feb. 16. If the application receives the green light, Colombia will become the third South American country served by the carrier for passenger flights, adding to existing operations in Rio de Janeiro Galeao, Brazil, and Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini, Argentina.
On the 1,511-mi. (1,313-nm) Miami-Bogotá leg of the route, Emirates would provide direct competition for American Airlines, Avianca and LATAM Airlines Group, which serve the sector 3X-daily, 4X-daily and 2X-daily, respectively. In total, there are currently about 21,400 two-way weekly passenger seats available between the cities, with Avianca commanding a 51% share of capacity.
Emirates’ proposed entry to the Bogotá market comes a month after Avianca outlined its intention to open a new route to Montréal-Trudeau International Airport in Canada. Flights will start on March 31, operating four times per week using Airbus A320s. Other recent network successes for BOG, the forthcoming host of Routes Americas 2024, include LATAM’s new route to Madrid, starting in July 2024, and Brazil’s GOL Línhas Aéreas’ addition of a fifth-freedom service between BOG and Buenos Aires.
According to the latest Colombian government data, a record 49.5 million passengers were handled by airports in the country during 2023, representing growth of 2.9% compared with the previous 12 months. The most significant increase during 2023 was international traffic, which rose from 15.3 million in 2022 to almost 19.8 million last year.