Augusto C. Sandino International Airport has implemented improvements to overall services around the clock. In response to concerns from the private sector, officials have announced that the services for passengers and cargo will operate throughout the day and night.
Managua airport is the main international gateway to Nicaragua, and is classified as the fifth busiest airport in Central America in terms of passenger revenue. Around 60,000 U.S. citizens visit Nicaragua annually, primarily business people, tourists and those visiting relatives. Therefore, the air transport industry plays an important role in supporting the country’s tourism and economic growth.
Many complaints about the process of registering incoming passengers and processing others for domestic flights were noted as one step that employers considered cumbersome and detrimental to attracting tourism. This step has been eliminated as part of the improvement process.
In addition, new ramp equipment and internet services have been purchased and installed in all areas of the airport. The president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise announced that crews were undertaking maintenance in all the regional airports which should be finished by the end of September.
As of March 2015, Managua offers non-stop links to 12 destinations in eight countries, with Copa Airlines, which operates a focus city at the airport, commanding 30% of the traffic.
The airport handled around 1.3 million passengers last year (a new record high), which showed a significant growth of 8.9% over 2013 figures. This was due in part to an array of new destinations: Los Angeles (Delta Air Lines); Dallas/Fort Worth (American Airlines); Houston Intercontinental (Spirit Airlines); and Mexico City (Aeromexico).
Managua is expected to continue its growth this year, handling upwards of 1.4 million passengers.