Published on February 13th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
Sneak Peek: Brand-new Quito Airport, Ready to Debut (Photos)
The Ecuador travel experience is about to undergo a big change, when a brand-new airport opens in February 20, 2013, serving one of the nation’s most popular destinations for business and leisure travel.
The new Quito airport — used heavily by airlines including AeroGal, LAN Airlines and TAME — bears the same name as its predecessor (Mariscal Sucre International Airport) but is completely new, and in a new location, about 20km northeast of the city. (Check out the photos, courtesy of Aeropuerto Internacional de Quito.)
According to EQ Touring, an Ecuadorean tour operator, “Due to the opening of the new airport, please bear in mind that as of February 20th, the transfer times to and from the airport to local hotels will now be an hour or more.” In addition, the company warned that delays may also be expected initially. Another tour operator, Andean Travel Company, noted that travel to the airport should allow one and a half hours to travel between the airport and central Quito — a big jump from the current travel time that should make some taxi drivers very happy.
The new Quito airport is designed to process lots more passengers than the previous facility, which is located right inside the city. The lower elevation and longer runways at the new airfield will also allow airlines to introduce nonstop service from further-off destinations in the Americas and Europe.
Among the highlights of the new facility:
• 60 check-in counters, plus a special area for Galápagos check-in
• 24 immigration counters for arrivals
• 12 immigration counters for departures
• 45 parking places for aircraft
Andean Travel Company put together an informative page online with more details about the new airport.
Among the travel tips from Andean Travel Company:
• Taxis operating from the airport will offer set rates depending on destination. Taxis traveling from Quito to the airport will also charge a set fee, approximately U.S.$40.
• An express shuttle service will operate from the former Quito airport, charging between $8 and $12 per trip.
• Andean Travel Company also reported an increase in taxes for the new airport. Passengers flying on domestic flights will be charged $8.17, while those on international flights will be charged $15.86. Tickets issued after February 5 already include this tax, but travelers carrying tickets issued before that date will need to pay the difference.
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