There are many cities and places worth visiting in Colombia. Regardless of whether you are the type of traveler that likes to have things planned and organized before you travel or the type that plans things as you go, it will be valuable and handy to know how national airlines and flights function in Colombia.
Perhaps the most well-known airline in Colombia is the national airline, Avianca. Avianca has frequent flights to almost all cities in Colombia and is part of the Star Alliance. That being said, Avianca offers some pretty competitive flight options if you buy in advance. The cheapest option they offer is what is called “super promo,” which is usually very cheap and hard to beat in terms of prices. The “promo” option is also fairly cheap; however, to get the super promo option, you’ll need to buy your ticket far in advance. For the promo option, you will still need to buy at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Of course, you can also fly business class in Avianca on national flights, which also gives you more leeway if you should need to modify your ticket.
You can check out Avianca’s flight deals here: http://www.avianca.com/en-co/
Another national Colombian airline is Viva Colombia. This is a new airline based in Medellín that started functioning about a year ago that offers some incredibly cheap ticket options. It could be compared to budget airlines like Jet2 and EasyJet in Europe. With Viva Colombia, you will need to pay extra to reserve a seat, to have priority boarding, or to take more than 6 kilograms of luggage. However, if you want to fly the using the cheapest way, you will board in no special order, pick your seat based on your spot in the boarding line, and you will print your boarding pass before you arrive at the airport (if you do not do this, you will be faced with a 5.000 COP fine to print your boarding pass).
You can check out Viva Colombia’s flight deals here: http://www.vivacolombia.co/
ADA is another small, national airline based in Medellín that has flights between Medellín and cities across the Atlantic Coast of Colombia, the Coffee Zone, the Venezuelan border area, and the Pacific Coast. While not always cheaper, ADA can sometimes offer more direct flights to certain locations, especially those cities that may not be prime tourist destinations or cities with lots of air traffic. If you are traveling from Medellín, though, it may indeed prove to be a cheaper option!
Check out all ADA’s flights here: http://www.ada-aero.com/
Aires, another Colombian airline, was purchased by the Chilean airline LAN about a year ago, and it continues to offer competitive flight, but has less trayectories than bigger airlines like Avianca. With flights to the majority of major Colombian cities, LAN can offer you a sometimes cheaper option than Avianca, if purchased in advanced. LAN also has a better reputation for on-time national flights and better in-flight food, if that’s something you pay attention to.
You can see all LAN’s flight information here: http://www.lan.com/es_co/sitio_personas/index.html
The Uncover Colombia Team
- Colombia Travel Information (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Airports in Colombia: International Wing of El Dorado in Bogota (www.uncovercolombia.com)
- Airports in Colombia II: Jose Maria Cordova in Medellín & Rafael Núñez in Cartagena (www.uncovercolombia.com)