SJOtoLIR wrote:So I figure. For example, IB didn't restart service to HAM until like 2 years ago, and even then, you arrive in the early evening in MAD. Search for IB 3271, it departs daily from HAM at 15:05 hrs and arrives in MAD at 18:15 hrs. So you overnight and catch IB 6315, departing at 11:35 hrs the following day.IB doesn’t supply a good connectivity on linking Germany and Costa Rica as compared to AF network.
AF-KL on the other hand, they fly multiple flights a day each. On my return to SJO December 2016, I took the first KL flight of the day out of HAM, which departed at around 06:15 hrs and connected directly with my flight to PTY about 5 hours after having departed HAM. KL in HAM flies mostly 73Gs now, operated for Cityhopper, while AF flies A32x as mainline, not to mention the bigger airports like FRA, MUC, etc which probably get mostly A320s and A321s from AF and bigger 737s from KL. Even LH (starting late March) is far more convenient, as they still fly mainline HAM-FRA multiple times a day. And don't get me started on flying HAM-ZRH to connect on WK.
So nowadays, connecting to Central America has become far more convenient than just relying on IB. If you're more into connecting into the rest of the Central America, you just fly to PTY and take advantage of whatever codeshare is offered with CM. Otherwise, if you want to reach just SJO, you can go via PTY or even nonstop with AF (yearround), KL (seasonal) and LH Group (yearround on WK and soon LH), without having to overnight in CDG, AMS, ZRH or FRA respetively. Flying IB departing out of Germany is not only inconvenient as far as connections are concerned, last time I checked, their fares to SJO would've set me back over 2000 Euros in Y. So I'm hoping this new competition will not only reduce fares but also give passengers more options into the region.
I'm not mentioning BA because you'd have the problem of having to switch airports. If at least PTY was launched and flown via LHR (which certainly isn't a far fetched possibility), it would be a whole different story, but I don't think using BA to connect to SJO is very convenient unless you intend on flying via the US (e.g. via DFW, MIA or in general through a codeshare with AA), because LON-SJO is operated via LGW and most of their Euro flights go exclusively to LHR. So overall, flying on IAG Group to connect nonstop to Central America isn't really the most convenient way for someone departing out of Germany unless you want to spend a few nights in Madrid or London.