2018 has been a great year for tourism in Cartagena. Thanks to the joint effort of the local authorities, private companies, and the different touristic agents, that drive the city and its great attractions, “La Heroica” continues to be ratified as the favorite destination for national and international travelers.
Proof of this is the arrival in the city through the Rafael Núñez International Airport of 5 million passengers transported this year, a historic figure for the air transport of this captivating Caribbean city.
María Claudia Gedeón, manager of corporate affairs of SACSA, the airport’s administrator, show herself proud and pointed that “according to the latest statistics, as of November the 30th
2018, a total of 4.924.811 passengers had transited, that is, 584.165 more than in the same period of 2017, which is equivalent to an increase of 13.4%. Regarding the movement of national passengers, the growth has been of 8.8%, and in international passengers, it is remarkable the increase in 41.6%”.
One of the essential factors to continue increasing every year the number of passengers arriving in Cartagena through aircraft, is, without any doubt, the extension of frequencies with direct flights from some of the most important cities in the world by current Airlines, as well as the arrival or return to operations of other air companies. “The search for new international routes is an effort made in conjunction with the Tourism Corporation of Cartagena, “Cotelco”, “Procolombia”, and SACSA, which has given great benefits to the competitiveness of our city. Being connected by direct flights to cities such as Amsterdam, Panama City, Atlanta, New York, Lima, San Salvador, Miami, Toronto, Orlando and others, has contributed a lot to the growth of passengers, as well as the increase of frequencies in the national routes", added Gideon.
For his part, Irvin Pérez Muñoz, president of the Tourism Corporation of Cartagena, was proud and very optimistic about the future: “With the arrival of passenger number five million, the importance of the Rafael Núñez Airport in Cartagena de Indias is reaffirmed, being the one with greater dynamism in the country in mobilization of international passengers, and the third in mobilization of national passengers. These data indicate a success in prioritizing the air connectivity as a strategy for tourism growth”.
Through a symbolic act, in which a check worth 5 million COP was given to a traveler who represented that number of visitors, this important achievement for the city was celebrated and, at the same time, an announcement was made informing about the increase of the frequencies of some international flights for the month of December and until mid-January, which means that passengers transit through the Rafael Núñez will continue increasing.
- The direct route Cartagena – Amsterdam adds an additional frequency on Wednesdays, starting on December the 5th. This completes 5 weekly flights to this destination operated by the Dutch airline KLM.
- Wingo will add an additional frequency to Panama every Sunday.
- As of December 12th, JetBlue will operate Cartagena-New York every day.
- From December the 17th Air Canada will operate Cartagena – Toronto on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- Air Transat will add from December the 18th the routes Cartagena – Montreal, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and Cartagena – Toronto on Fridays.
- The route Cartagena – Atlanta will operate daily from December the 20th with Delta Airlines.
The Rafael Núñez Airport is also awaiting the approval of its expansion, that contemplates the works of enlargement increase the capacity and thus respond to the needs that the market is showing.
This project constitutes an integral proposal that contemplates the expansion of the passenger terminal building, aircraft parking platforms, and the taxiway. The initiative proposes to carry out the following works:
- Construction of a new international building.
- New loading dock parallel to the current building. The total number of boarding gates will be greater than 20.
- Remodeling of the existing terminal, substantially expanding the main lobby and the number of check-in counters up to a total of 72.
- The total area of the new construction will exceed the 17.000 m², and will complete a terminal area of over 42.000 m².
- Expansion of the main platform to exceed 100.000 m².
- Enlargement of the secondary platform to increase the capacity of attention to private aircrafts at the airport.
- Construction of a new taxiway parallel to the track.
- New parking in height.