Colombia’s biggest airport, Bogotá El Dorado Airport was also South America’s third busiest airport in 2012. Handling 22.5 million passengers in 2012, it is operated by a consortium of the Swiss Flughafen Zürich AG and Colombian construction and engineering firms.
Passenger traffic at Bogotá El Dorado Airport has doubled between 2006 and 2012. There were just under 12 million passengers (3.8 million international and 8 million domestic) using the airport in 2006, but by 2012 this had risen to 22.5 million. Even in the worst years of economic recession the number of passengers continued increasing and in 2009 there was an increase of 11% recorded, followed by an increase of 27% in 2010.
However the economic recession hit the international sector which after achieving 13.8% growth in 2007 dropped to 6.8% in the following year and even declined slightly in 2009 (-0.6%). Much of the decrease can be attributed to a relative importance of the US in Bogotá’s international traffic. The loss was more than recovered in 2010 though, when there was a growth of 7.8%. Domestic passenger traffic achieved double-figure growth in 2009 (16.7%), but more than doubled in 2010 (35.7%). During the next two years however, the trend reversed with international traffic in 2012 up by 14.6% and domestic growing at 9.6%.
Domestic traffic from Bogotá accounted for over 70% of the total traffic in 2012 and the domestic market was dominated by Avianca, the country’s flag carrier which accounts for 68% of weekly seats and 64% of frequencies. Way behind are LAN with 21% of seats and 20% of frequencies, and Copa Airlines (7% and 8% respectively). SATENA, EasyFly and Viva Colombia (the country’s first low-cost carrier) account for the remaining capacity.
Four domestic routes (Medellín, Cali, Cartagena and Barranquilla) accounted for 38% of domestic traffic from Bogotá in 2012. Colombia’s largest regional centre, Medellín made up 13% of the domestic market from Bogotá.
Bogotá is Avianca main hub and the airline not only dominates the domestic market, but also the international market. Offering almost half of weekly seats and frequencies on international routes at the airport, another 5% is added taking into account its partner airline, Taca. Together, the two airlines have 299 weekly flights to 26 destinations, all in the Americas except Madrid and Barcelona.
Panama City is the hub for Avianca-Taca’s Star Alliance partner, Copa and is the busiest international route from Bogotá. Out of the 8,400 weekly seats and 69 weekly frequencies on the route, two thirds are offered by Copa. Avianca provides the remaining services. In terms of seats, Miami is the main destination in the US (three flights a day by Avianca, two a day by American Airlines and daily by LAN). Fort Lauderdale is the only airport on the list of top 12 airports that is dominated by US low-cost carriers. Avianca’ daily flights here are matched by JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines, with the latter marketing slightly more seats on the route.