- The Spanish airline arrives to become a part of the map of routes connecting Quito and Ecuador with the world. The aircraft landed at 6:59 a.m. on January 2nd, coming from Madrid and departed for Europe at 9:20 a.m. after a heartwarming celebration.
Gastronomic delicacies from the Iberian Peninsula, a welcome toast, and good wishes were the elements of the ceremony held by Quito’s International Mariscal Sucre Airport to celebrate the arrival of Air Europa at Ecuador’s capital and its integration into the air terminal’s strategy of greater connectivity performed through its concessionaire, Corporación Quiport.
At 6:59 a.m. on January 2nd, the A330-220 aircraft— with a passenger capacity of 299— landed on Quito’s soil after an 11 hour flight from Madrid’s Barajas International Airport. The customary water arch, routinely utilized to receive airplanes inaugurating a new route, signaled the beginning of Air Europa’s operations. For Ecuador, this route represents a possibility of expanding its commercial and tourism relationships.
Air Europa will cover the Madrid-Quito-Guayaquil-Madrid route, in a triangular flight that will have three weekly frequencies (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) during the off-peak season and five frequencies during months considered to have high-demand (June, July, August, December, and January). According to the airline’s data, this route is projected to transport 90,000 passengers per year.
Andrew O’Brian, President and CEO of Corporación Quiport, explained that Air Europa’s arrival answers to a strategy that was planned based on demands for greater connectivity of the city and the country. The senior executive stated, “we are convinced that Ecuador’s development is strengthened by quality transportation services; the arrival of this airline will allow the expansion of the country’s tourism and business potential”.
Meanwhile, via Air Europa’s web page, the airline’s commercial director, Imanol Perez, highlighted, “for Air Europa, Quito was a long overdue destination. When we inaugurated a route to Guayaquil, one year ago, we had already stated our goal of transporting our passengers to Quito and demonstrating its great potential to them.” With Quito, Air Europa offers 21 destinations in the Americas, thereby progressively increasing the connection between both continents.
The designation of the Mariscal Sucre airport as the best airport in the region and dozens of national and international awards for its management are factors for airlines increasingly deciding to travel to Quito and reaffirming its status as a gate of entry to Ecuador.
Yves Gautier, director of operations of the Mariscal Sucre Airport, welcomed the passengers and crew of the inaugural flight highlighting that this is a great way to begin the new year in terms of growth for the Mariscal Sucre. “This responds to a general route development strategy. This year will bring lots of good news for the connectivity of Quito and Ecuador”, he stated in closing.
Germania Salme, Air Europa’s Commercial Manager in Ecuador stated that the airline’s arrival in Quito responds to the national government’s intentions to bolster Quito and Ecuador as a tourist destination.
The Ecuadorian Ambassador in Spain, Cristóbal Roldán, was present as a special guest of the event. Mr. Roldán emphasized the efforts of the national government to increase air connectivity. As an effort to achieve this, the President signed an “open skies” decree that aims to attract more international airlines to operate in Ecuador.
At 9:20 a.m., the aircraft started its engines to continue its return flight to Europe, making a prior stop in Guayaquil.