Good news (?) for Central America travelers...
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras –– Sol Air, the second-ever Honduras-based airline, began operations Friday, offering daily flights from a pair of Honduran cities to the United States.
With a fleet of four Boeing 737s and Super 7s, Sol Air will offer daily flights from the capital, Tegucigalpa, and from the northern city of San Pedro Sula to Miami, Florida. The airline plans to expand its schedule to include flights to the capitals of El Salvador and Nicaragua in coming weeks.
"We are a business founded on Honduran investment that looks to offer new options, fair prices and optimum service," Ricardo Martinez, Sol Air's president, said at a news conference.
The airline offers fares to Miami starting at $199, down from the $450 Hondurans have become accustom to paying, Martinez said.
U.S. giants American Airlines and Continental Airlines, as well as El Salvador-based air-consortium Grupo Taca also offer daily flights from Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula to a variety of U.S. and Latin American destinations.
Martinez said all seats on all Air Sol flights are already sold out through November.
The only other Honduras airline, SAHSA, went out of business in 1994, after 51 years of operating its worldwide hub out of Tegucigalpa.
SAHSA, founded by U.S. businessman Newton Shelton, was the first airline to challenge a Central American monopoly once held by U.S. carrier Pan Am, but the company never recovered from a devastating 1989 crash.
A SAHSA Boeing 727 that left Tegucigalpa bound for Houston, Texas, crashed into a hill 10 miles from the airport. The company was forced to cover nearly half of the $400 million in damages awarded to family members of crash victims who filed a class action suit in the early 1990s.
© 2002 The Associated Press