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Simon Calder

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Will I be able to fly direct to Bogata any time soon?

Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions

Q Do you have any information about the long running saga of when Avianca are going to starting flying direct from London to Bogota again? I read that President Santos said it would start by August 2012!

Graeme, Aberdeen

A Graeme, all of we Brits who appreciate the allure of Colombia – not to mention London’s big Colombian community - are keen to see direct flights reinstated. For a brief spell around the turn of the century, you could fly non-stop from Heathrow Terminal 2 to Bogota. Avianca abandoned those flights; British Airways axed its link from Heathrow via Caracas; and we were left with some unappealing connecting services.

In the summer, approval was given by the Colombian government for Avianca to resurrect the link to London, but unfortunately saying a flight can start is not the same as saying it will start. No-one I have talked to knows when it might begin, though any earlier than winter 2013/14 (ie starting at the end of October next year) looks most unlikely. Nor is the airport of operation settled, though experience suggests it will probably be Gatwick rather than Heathrow.

Meanwhile, it’s the transit lounge at Madrid or Miami for you and me.

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