International Flights to/from Medellin Gradually Restart on September 21
Colombia Transport Minister Ángela María Orozco and Health Minister Fernando Ruiz jointly announced last night (September 15) that regular international passenger flights will start to resume on September 21 from Medellin’s Jose Maria Cordova (MDE) international airport.
Two days prior to the restart at JMC, Spirit Airlines on September 19 will debut its first regular international passenger flight to Colombia in six months – from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Cartagena. On the same day (September 19), Viva Air will debut the first regular international passenger flight from Colombia, from Cartagena to Miami.
Viva had earlier announced that it would include passengers from JMC on a connecting September 19 flight to Cartagena, then continuing onward to Miami.
“The initial international flights to be reestablished are to the United States, Ecuador, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala,” according to the Transport Ministry.
“The international air passenger reactivation is carried out after the favorable opinion of the Ministry of Health for the suspension of the restriction of entry of international travelers to Colombia, based on the current state of the [Covid-19] pandemic,” Minister Orozco added.
“The entire sector is committed to complying with the defined biosafety protocols so that this operation is carried out safely,” she added.
As with the operation of domestic passenger flights in Colombia, “a strict biosecurity protocol will be applied for the operation of international flights. Among these measures, it has been defined that for the entry of international passengers, the presentation of the negative result of the PCR test for Covid-19 will be requested,” according to the Ministry.
For travelers entering or leaving Colombia, “passengers must compulsorily fill-out, prior to entering the immigration control posts, the ‘Check-Mig’ pre-registration, which can be found on the website https://apps.migracioncolombia.gov.co/pre-registro/public/preregistro.jsf,” the Health Ministry stated.
That registration process “can be done 24 hours in advance and up to one hour before the flight.”
To enter Colombia, “each traveler must present a negative result of a PCR test no more than 96 hours before the stipulated time of travel” while “to leave Colombia, the [health protocol] requirements agreed by the destination country must be met,” the Ministry added.
“Passenger access to the airport will be up to three hours before the scheduled departure of the [international] flight.”
Airports must “maximize the use of available baggage carousels as much as possible to avoid [health-endangering] crowds. They must also assign specific carousels for flights from high-risk areas,” according to the Ministry.
“For short flights it is recommended that passengers not to use the aircraft toilets. In addition, if the flight is less than two hours, the cabin crew will not be able to perform [drinks and meals] service on board.”
What’s more, “the use of a mask is mandatory from the entrance to the airport, during the trip and at the port of arrival, regardless of the duration of the entire journey,” Health Minister Ruiz added.
“In the case of medium and long-duration flights (more than two hours) it is recommended to wear multiple masks and to replace them during the journey. For short flights, a single mask” is sufficient.
Passengers also must “stay in their assigned seat throughout the flight,” the Ministry added.