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Flying to Nicaragua

Most Airlines Still Not Flying to Nicaragua and it’s Already February

Flying to Nicaragua is still as arduous as it was earlier in the pandemic. Here’s a look at the current Nicaragua flight situation, where excessive regime demands mean only two airlines have returned to Managua. This article contains affiliate links, where we make a small commission if you buy anything after clicking, at no extra cost to you.

Even though Copa has added more flights between Managua and Panama City, at least four airlines continue delaying their return to Nicaragua.

American Airlines, United, and Aeromexico all confirmed they won’t resume services to Nicaragua in February.

Spirit is also delaying its return. It haven’t even confirmed a tentative restart date. This is a blow to many passengers looking to travel between Nicaragua and the United States.

Spirit’s regular pre-COVID route between Managua and Fort Lauderdale was always popular. It’s an affordable airline, after all, and many Nicaraguans also live in Florida.

American Airlines now gives March 4 as its return date. This is a change from the previously scheduled February 11 restart. Pre-pandemic, American offered three daily flights between Managua and Miami.

United also had a February 11 return date scheduled. It now says it’ll return in March, but hasn’t given a date. They had a daily route between Managua and Houston.

For its part, Aeroméxico has also labeled March 4 as a date to restart Nicaragua operations. Their route ran twice a day between Managua and Mexico City.

All these airlines have been changing their return dates since June 2020. They’ve said all along that each new date is “tentative”.

The only airline other than Copa who’ve been operating is Avianca, since September 2020. They fly between Managua and San Salvador, from where travelers can transit to their final destinations.

Copa Airlines began operations between Managua and Panama City in January 2021.

First reports said Copa would offer a flight every Thursday, but they seem to have increased their schedule somewhat. Right now, Copa’s schedule for this month shows flights for February 4, 11, 18, 19, 25, and 26.

All these postponements and cancelations are a result of the Ortega regime’s demands.

The regime demands airlines send them a passenger list with negative COVID test results in advance of arrival in Nicaragua. They also demand negative test results from the airline crews.

Nicaragua is the only country in the region doing this, and airlines find it impossible to comply. Crews are constantly moving, constantly in transit, and oftentimes they don’t have the time to wait around for the test results Nicaragua demands.

Speaking of tests, it’s also become expensive for many Nicaraguans to travel, given the United States and other countries now demands a negative COVID test to enter. There’s only one place available to get tested in Nicaragua, and that costs $150.

So the airlines keep delaying and the tourist sector remains in limbo; hurting and unable to organize or make any plans.

In the meantime, the best way to enter Nicaragua continues to be through Costa Rica, arriving into Liberia Airport and crossing the border from there.

This article was adapted and rewritten from the original in Spanish by Mabel Calero in La Prensa on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

James Dyde is the editor of He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.

James Dyde

James Dyde

James Dyde is a British immigrant to Costa Rica and the editor of this website. He has lived in Central America since 2000 and retains a deep love for the region. He lives in Escazu, Costa Rica.