Colombian national flag carrier Avianca has recently inaugurated its first flight between Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California and El Salvador International Airport Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (SAL) in San Salvador, El Salvador. In a statement from Ontario International Airport, it claims that last week’s flight was the first passenger air service between the southern Californian airport and El Salvador.
More than 100 passengers were expected to be onboard Avianca’s history-making flight for the four-and-a-half-hour journey down to Central America. On the route, the Bogota, Colombia-based carrier deployed one of its Airbus A319-100 aircraft, which was operated by a Taca International Airlines flight crew.
Three flights per week between ONT and SAL
So far, Avianca plans to offer three flights per week on a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from ONT to SAL, departing from ONT at 01:15 and arriving at SAL at 07:05. The flights from El Salvador to California will depart SAL at 19:10 and arrive at ONT at 23:30.
When speaking about how pleased Ontario was to receive the flights from San Salvador, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Ontario and President of the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) Board of Commissioners, Alan D. Wapner said:
“We have waited with great anticipation to welcome Avianca Airlines, its passengers, and crew members to Ontario International.”Adding, “We are confident that our modern, low-cost international gateway, vibrant local economy, and intensely loyal customer base will create tremendous value for Avianca.”
In recognizing the importance of connecting El Salvador to the western United States, General Director of Avianca, Rolando Damas said:
“We acknowledge the importance of connecting North America with El Salvador and our markets in Central America, especially for those who travel to see their family and friends. We are sure that this new route is also a great opportunity to promote tourism to El Salvador and California as well.”
ONT has been quick to recover
Ontario International Airport Authority chief executive officer, Mark Thorpe, was equally optimistic about the new flights saying:
“Our flight schedule will reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels this month as Ontario experiences the quickest recovery among airports in California. In addition to Avianca’s historic El Salvador service, airlines operating at ONT are offering nonstop service to two dozen popular destinations this summer, six more than the summer of 2019, including Charlotte, Chicago (O’Hare International), Honolulu, Houston (William P. Hobby Airport) and Mexico City.”
Avianca’s new flights between ONT and SAL will operate out of Ontario Airports Terminal 2 and will be flown using Avianca Airbus A319-100s.
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About Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Located around 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles Ontario International Airport (ONT) is one of the fastest-growing airports in the United States and a major alternative to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The San Bernardino County airport offers non-stop flights to many major US cities and is a large cargo hub for air freight operators UPS and FedEx.
According to a 2019 census, California has around 731,873 Salvadorians, a large enough diaspora of people to make the route profitable for the Star Alliance member airline.
What do you think about Avianca’s new ONT to SAL flights? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.