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San Andres airport re-opens

The airport on San Andres island has been re-opened for commercial traffic after remaining closed since early 16 August when an Aires Boeing 737-700 crashed on its sole runway.

According to the Colombian aviation authority Aerocivil, the wreckage of the aircraft has been removed this morning after the Colombian and US accident investigation teams finalised their on-site work.

Because of an important backlog of stranded passengers who could not leave this popular Caribbean holiday destination, Avianca and Aero Republica have announced a number of special flights to return to operational normality "as soon as possible".

Avianca has announced a special flight schedule for today, supplying 10 extra flights between San Andres and mainland Colombia, in addition to its six scheduled flights, some of which will be operated with Boeing 767-300 widebody equipment, while the other rotations will be operated with Airbus A320 and Fokker 100 aircraft.

An Aerocivil source says that his institution has agreed with the airlines to "transport flexibly" the stranded passengers. He says that the agreement with the airport, airlines and tourism operators calls for a full normalisation of operations before next Monday, although he hopes that this will "occur much earlier".

An Aires operated Boeing 737-700 crashed in the early morning hours on 16 August in severe weather in San Andres, leaving one passenger dead and several severely injured as the aircraft broke up in three parts.

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