The flight from Italy to Nicaragua will take eleven hours and a half, and cost 30 percent less than its competitors traveling through Miami or other routes.
General Jorge Miranda, Manager of Nicaragua Airways, stated that “this new route will allow the country to develop its civil aviation field, diversifying and improving its economy by attracting more tourists”, adding that this flight will also allow “citizens to travel in better conditions”.
In the upcoming months, the Nicaraguan Tourism Board (INTUR, for its acronym in Spanish) will be promoting the country in the travel agency catalogue El Corte Inglés, one of the largest and most important in Spain, which could lead to an increase of European tourists.
“We estimate that we can increase the number of European tourists by 50 percent in two or three years. Currently, approximately 90,000 tourists visit the country from Europe”, explained Mario Salinas, President of INTUR, a number that has increased in recent years despite the European crisis.
Additionally, a new airport has opened in San Juan del Norte (Greytown), on Nicaragua’s Southern Caribbean coast, providing a new connection to Managua. The new Greytown Airport currently has a 1,200 meter runway, suitable for small planes carrying up to 19 passengers, and will be extended by 300 meters to accommodate bigger planes with up to 46 passengers. Local carrier La Costeña has already started using the new airport, offering one-hour flights from Managua twice a week.
The opening of the new airport will bring new opportunities to the area, generating income for local businesses by attracting a greater number of visitors to the area. Presently, the area has ten small hotels, which are already negotiating packages with local tour operators.