VECA Airlines (Vuelos Economicos de Centro America)
It often seems absurd that a short haul flight can cost so much when compared to a long haul trip. For example, the distance from El Salvador to New York is about 2,070 miles and costs around US$630. The trip from El Salvador to Guatemala is a mere 142 miles and yet costs roughly US$250. Supply and demand are often cited as reasons for this disparity. If true, the arrival of VECA Airlines from El Salvador is good news. VECA stands for Vuelos Economicos de Centro America, which is Spanish for Central American Cheap flights. The name alone bodes well for lower priced travel.
For many years, TACA airlines was the carrier of El Salvador but in 2009 it merged with the Columbian carrier Avianca. This consolidation opened the way for VECA Airlines to be formed in late 2013. VECA Airlines is now the flag carrier for El Salvador and keen to make its presence felt, both locally and regionally.
The airline aims to be closely identified with the people and culture of El Salvador. In 2016 VECA sponsored Alianza, one of the most popular football clubs in the country. The colors of the planes are white and blue, matching the Salvadoran flag.
VECA uses two 144 seat Airbus A319s for standard passenger operations. Its current routes fly out of a hub in El Salvador, at the Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport. VECA flies to Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The latter is significant. It is a high growth route and the country’s tourism officials recently made attracting new airlines to Costa Rica a high priority.
With more international airlines flying to Central America, it is important that travelers from Europe and the U.S. can travel around the region easily and cheaply.
Rumors have existed for some time that VECA may expand beyond its current Central American routes. Destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington have been muted but none of these are confirmed.
VECA offer a budget service but without the annoying restrictions that make some lower priced airlines so tiresome. According to the airline’s website, no fee is made for a carry-on bag and passengers can put a 50 pound bag in the hold free of charge.
Like many low-cost carriers, you can select your seat but it will cost you extra. The price is based on criteria like being near an exit, having a window seat or enjoying extra leg room. If you don’t pay, then a seat will be allocated.
The official website is nicely designed and simple to navigate. As a bonus there are pages that describe key tourist highlights in each country to which VECA fly.
Official Website: VECA Airlines
Good news for travelers
Competition in the world of airlines nearly always means more choice for us, the passengers. Invariably it also means cost savings. VECA Airlines offer a high quality budget service to destinations that are growing in popularity, such as Costa Rica.
The economics of supply and demand will always control the price you and I pay for our air tickets. If more carriers like VECA appeared, it may help to make our traveling adventures a lot cheaper.
See also: Dynamic Airlines