Since April, Spirit Airlines has repatriated nearly 22,000 people, due to the current coronavirus pandemic worldwide. Now, the carrier is planning six more humanitarian flights from Colombia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Let’s investigate further.
Spirit expanded its humanitarian flight schedule
Due to the current border restrictions worldwide, Spirit Airlines recently announced an expanded program of humanitarian flights. It will operate repatriation flights through at least mid-August, it said in a statement.
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Since April, the low-cost carrier has operated a total of 163 humanitarian flights, transporting nearly 22,000 people.
Over the last five months, many airlines have reduced their schedules to humanitarian and cargo flights. Since many borders are closed for tourists, this kind of operation is the only one available for carriers worldwide.
For example, by June, Eastern Airlines had operated over 100 relief flights to South America. Aeromexico, on the other hand, has completed over 200 COVID cargo flights to 15 countries worldwide.
These humanitarian efforts have broken many records during the current pandemic, and some airlines have landed where they would never have thought if it wasn’t for coronavirus. But why is Spirit Airlines now making six flights to Colombia?
South America is partially closed to the world. Just a few countries have opened up their airspaces, like Brazil, which yesterday allowed international travelers again. Ecuador and Peru have also resumed domestic operations. But other countries like Argentina and Colombia are entirely shut.
The Colombian Government says it will reopen its borders by 31 August, but we wouldn’t bet on that. Coronavirus is raging on in South America. Other countries, such as Panama, have been pushing back their reopening dates over and over. Spirit Airlines said something about this,
“When the US Embassy in Colombia asked us to operate that first flight out of Bogota in April, we knew it was the right thing to do,” said Ted Christie, President, and CEO at Spirit Airlines. He would have never imagined that so many people would still be away from their homes four months later.
In Latin America, Spirit Airlines has secured permission for over 160 humanitarian flights. The airline connected the US with Colombia, Honduras, Haiti, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Aruba, and St. Maarten.
I want to be on the flights – what should I do?
For US citizens and residents that are stranded abroad, Spirit advises them to contact the embassy in that location. It said that it would continue to operate humanitarian flights whenever possible, at the request of embassy or consulate officials.
Between 5 and 19 August, Spirit will fly six times to Colombia. It will connect Bogota with Fort Lauderdale on 5, 8, 12, 15, and 19 August. Also, on Sunday, 16 August, it will fly from Medellin to Fort Lauderdale.
If you want to be on one of these flights, you should contact the airline directly for reservations and pricing information. Finally, if you have difficulties traveling to the airport from your location, you should contact the consulate at ColombiaEvac@state.gov.
What do you think of Spirit’s initiative? Let us know in the comments.