Air Costa Rica (San José Juan Santamaría) is planning to commence revenue operations in December of this year as it moves to complete the final stages of certification with the Costa Rican civil aviation authority (Dirección General de Aviación Civil - DGAC).

Managing Director Carlos Víquez told Costa Rica's El Financiero that under its revised launch plans, the Air Panama (7P, Panamá City Paitilla) subsidiary plans to offer daily flights from San Jose to Panamá City Tocumen International, Bogotá in Colombia, Guayaquil in Ecuador, Lima International in Peru, Managua in Nicaragua, and Guatemala City in Guatemala.

Thereafter, pending the requisite traffic rights and permissions, the carrier plans to open up daily direct flights to Miami International in the United States by August of next year.

"It's about time Costa Rica had a quality Costa Rican airline to choose from in the local market," he said. "We are not aiming for the budget niche but rather to be an 'intermediate' carrier."

With one B737-300(QC) sourced from Air Panama already in its inventory, Air Costa Rica plans to launch with a fleet of two B737-300s and two Fokker 100s.

The carrier will face competition from fellow start-up VivaCam (San José Juan Santamaría), an LCC which plans to commence operations early next year. It is the sister carrier to Mexican and Colombian LCCs VivaAerobus (VB, Monterrey Mariano Escobedo) and VivaColombia (Medellín José Maria Córdova) respectively.