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Feb 07 2013

New Quito International Airport – Starts Operating February 20th 2013

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INTRO |FACT & FIGURES | MAPS & DIAGRAMS | TRANSPORTATION | IMAGES  | ACCOMMODATION

INTRODUCTION

After 52 years of service, the current International Airport of Quito, Mariscal Sucre [IATA airport code: UIO], switches off its lights and closes permanently on October 11, 2012  [updated information now puts the opening date for February 20th, 2013]. The original airport was built in 1960 on 126 hectares of land, located in the north of Quito.

Due to its location in the middle of a city surrounded by mountains, the current airport cannot be expanded to accommodate any larger aircraft or an increase in air traffic. Its operation poses higher risks, too; six serious accidents and several incidents have taken place in recent years. When the original airport was built back in 1960 it was on the north edge of Quito … but during the last 50 years Quito has expanded northward, enveloping the airport.

As of October 12, 2012 February 20th, 2013, the new Quito International Airport will be inaugurated and starts its operations.

In addition, as of February 20th, 2013 the Quito airport has increased its airport taxes:

Passengers with tickets issued before February 20th can pay for the increase directly at the airport.

USD $8.17 tax increase for DOMESTIC/NATIONAL routes.

USD $15.86 tax increase for INTERNATIONAL routes.

Quito International Airport Tax

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THE NEW AIRPORT (facts, details & figures)

The new airport, which began construction in 2006, is about 10 times larger and sits on 1500 hectares of land aprox. 15 km (as the crow flies)east of Quito.  In actual fact, the road trip from Quito (e.g., from central Quito) to the main terminal is 37 km (22 miles) using the only main access road (via Cumbaya,Tumbaco, Pifo).

Here are the some comparisons between the original and  new airport:

  • Unlike the original airport which is located in the middle of the city, the new airport is outside of the city and therefore has a more than adequate safety/security zone (in case of accidents).

  • The original airport is located at 2800 m.a.s.l. (one of the highest airports in the world) and surrounded by mountains.  The new airport is located at 2400 m.a.s.l. and in a relatively open topography.

  • The original airport sat on 126 hectares of land with no possibility to expand (as the city grew around the airport in the meantime).  The new airport sits on 1500 hectares with between 70 to 100 hectares of land for possible future expansion.

  • The original airport has about 40 hectares (aprox.) of construction, while the new airport currently has 70 hectares of construction.

  • The passenger terminal(s) of the original airport is 28,700 m2, while the new airport terminal(s) occupy 38,000 m2 (first phase).

  • The original airport runway is 3120 m in length, while the new airport boasts a main runway of 4100 m ( also has a second runway of 2350 m).

  • The control tower of the original airport is 22 m high, while the new airport has a control tower of 41 m.

  • The original airport capacity to service 3,660,000 passengers, while the new airport some 5,000,000 in its first phase.

  • The original airport has 35 airline counters, while the new airport has 60 airline counters.

  • The original airport has parking for 32 aircraft, while the new airport currently has parking for 45 aircraft.

  • The car park of the original airport can hold 380 vehicles, while the new airport has space or 903 vehicles.

There are currently three different routes to the new airport from Quito [detailed updates on airport access routes will follow as information becomes available, including maps, travel times, costs etc].

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MAPS & DIAGRAMS

New Quito International Airport

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TRANSPORTATION

Readers should keep in mind that due to the new location (near Tababela) it will take at least  60 to 90 minutes (dependent on traffic conditions) to get to/from the new airport to/from Quito (based on current limited road access).  

Updated data:  I just did this trip today [February 7th, 2013] with no airport traffic, leaving Mariscal Sucre area of Quito at 08h30 and it took 60 minutes to get to the airport terminal (keep in mind that at the time of the journey the airport was not officially open and so the trip time does not reflect travel time with traffic to/from the airport once it is functioning).  It was obvious along the way that the road access leaves a lot to be desired and definitely “in progress” … sections under reconstruction, sections of two lanes in either direction and others three lanes in each direction.

This trip (via Cumbaya, Tumbaco, Pifo, Tababela) is almost exactly 36 km (22.3 miles) by road and will most probably be the principal access route to/from the airport until the other access routes are constructed.  Leaving the airport around noon, it then took 90 minutes to return back into Quito (due to greater traffic during the mid day hours).

In my humble opinion, the airport is not completely ready for operation on February 20th and the transportation to/from the airport is still ambiguous and not ironed out.  I strongly advise all passengers to allow for a greater window of time to avoid unnecessary “surprises”.  Generally speaking, allow for 4-5 hours (3 hours before flight + 1-2 hours travel time) for International departure flights and 3 hours (90 minutes prior to flight + 90 minutes travel time) for domestic departure  flights. These times also contemplate technical glitches (new check-in machines, procedures etc) that may occur in the first few days of operation.  Forewarned is for armed.

As for transportation to/from the new airport there apparently are the following options:

(the data provided has not been confirmed or personally verified yet):

transporteTAXI CAB

(rates are not clear yet, but might be around USD $25-$35 one way);

 

transporteEXPRESS AIRPORT BUS

  • Company: Aeroservicios  [link]
  • Departure/from: Original/old airport terminal in Quito
  • Hours of operation: 24 hours
  • Frequency: Every 30 minutes
  • [According to news sources this company was supposed to have a website up and running today ... February 15th, 2013 ... but no surprise ... nothing yet!]

 

transportePUBLIC BUS

  • Hours of operation:  04h45 until 24h00
  • Departure/from: Coca bus terminal (Terminal Rio Coca) located in northwest sector of Quito.
  • Frequency: every 10 to 14 minutes
  • Number of stops along the way: 11
  • Cost: USD $2 per person
  • Travel time: tba (I hazard to guess at least 90 – 110 minutes).
  • Observation: allow plenty of leeway time for this option … cheap but slow!

Quito Airport Road Map

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IMAGES

Below are some photographs taken at the new airport today, February 7th, 2013.

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What I did notice that concerns me is that on the arrival level (lower level of the terminal), the domestic arrival gate and International arrival gate are right next to each other (less than 30m separating where both domestic and International passengers enter into the terminal).  I can foresee this area being extremely congested … as it is not unusual that for one Ecuadorian immigrant returning back to Ecuador there are between 5 to 10 family members anxiously awaiting the arrival of their loved one.  In addition, numerous hotels, travel agencies and tour operator representatives wait in this area for their clients with signs and … well, you get the picture!

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hotelesACCOMMODATION

The first thing I should make clear is that, at present, there is a VERY LIMITED SELECTION of places to stay in and around the new Quito airport region in Tababela.  This, no doubt, will change as the years pass by.  But for right now, if you need to stay near the airport (within 30 minutes or so) you are basically talking about the El Quinche, Tababela, Puembo & Pifo region.  Much beyond Pifo you might as well stay in Quito!

TABABELA – There are two places I managed to find on my scouting trip:

  • Mi Huasipungo
  • Quito Airport Suites 

PUEMBO – There are two places I managed to find on my scouting trip:

  • Hosteria San Jose is a charming hacienda, offering approximately 36 rooms between USD $80 to $175.
  • Rincon de Puembo is another charming place, offering 15 different rooms (suites, doubles, triples and family townhouses) – rates to be confirmed.

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The future of the original airport is being finalized, but apparently it will be converted into an aquatic park (mini Central Park) with lagoons and a convention center (location of current terminal building.

Parque de Lago, Quito

149 comments

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  1. Ron

    Does anyone know if the new airport will have the same airport, UIO, as the old one?

    1. Robin Slater

      Ron,

      I presume it will have the same IATA airport code UIO. There has been no mention of a possible change in this code.

    2. Carmella in NJ, USA

      how do we vote for the name of the new airport? I can’t find it.

      1. Robin Slater

        Although there was a contest a while back, the Ecuadorian President put a stop and opted to keep the same (original) name … Mariscal Sucre.

    3. Aruna Hollingshead

      I have been visiting Ecuador frequently since 2009. Last visit was in December 2012. The new airport is opening on February 2013.

    4. VANESSA

      does anyone have any information on arrival to the new airport. my mother is flying out the 19th from Miami international airport arriving in Quito. Does anyone know if she will be flying in to the old airport marisacal or the new one???
      Thanks!

      1. Robin Slater

        The old airport closes at 19h00 (7pm) on the 19th. Then there are 14 hours while the remaining equipment is transported to the new airport which officially starts operating at 09h00 on the 20th. So, if the flight arrives by 7pm on the 19th she will arrive into the old airport, otherwise flights will arrive as of the 20th into the new airport.

      2. mike

        if i have a 6:30 am international departure at the new airport and i’m staying at the marriott in quito what time should i leave?

        1. Robin Slater

          Mike,

          Based on my several trips to the airport at different times of the day, I would say that it takes between 50 to 80 minutes early in the morning (i.e., 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.). Technically all passengers are required to check in for International flights 3 hours ahead of time (don’t leave it less than 2 hours ahead of time). So as not to be stresses, I would say that you need to leave for the airport by 3 a.m.

          I recently took clients from the historic center of Quito to the airport for their 6:30 a.m. flight. We left the hotel at 3 a.m. and arrived at the airport at 3:50 a.m. … and they had no problem checking in for their flight.

          Hope this helps.

          1. Sandy

            Can anyone recommend a company to hire for private transfers to and from the airport?

          2. Robin Slater

            A great deal depends on how many people at any given time and how frequent the transfers.

  2. Grace

    When I was in Quito in April the runway wasn’t paved and there were no buildings, how can it possibly be ready for October 12 ?

    1. Robin Slater

      The first test flight (an American Airlines Boeing 757) landed in the new airport on July 2nd, 2012 (see related article http://www.ecuadortimes.net/2012/07/02/first-flight-arrived-at-Quitos-new-airport-in-tababela/). Apparently, the construction is 96% complete. The main problem is the limited road access to/from the airport … but the airport itself is almost complete.

  3. David Small

    Do you know what the plans are for any new road construction? And, are there any plans for new hotels, restaurants and such around the new airport?

    1. Robin Slater

      David, to the best of my knowledge and from information I have been monitoring, there are no current plans for hotels etc directly around the new airport. More than likely that Cumbaya & Tumbaco area will see a boom in construction .. shopping centers, hotels etc. Aparently San Vicente is being viewed as a possible hub for hotels.

      In terms of road access, there is only one that is almost complete (via Cumbaya, Tumbaco) but with two others currently in planning and construction phase (one via Zambiza and the other via Calderon).

  4. Dr Bill Rodgers

    I have flights already scheduled for November 7, 2012 and Jan 24, 2013. I need to overnight somewhere before flying to Manta. Any ideas where I can stay overnight close to the new airport?

    Thanks

    1. Robin Slater

      There are a very limited number of accommodation options near (i.e., Puembo & Tababela) to the new Quito International airport.

  5. Santiago M. Andrade

    I am sorry to read the following. Mayor Augusto Barrera has announced this morning that due to: a) limited road access to the new airport avance of progress and; b) Request of cargo and passenger airline companies, to wait until the oct thru dec high seasson is over, they´d preferr to move their operations until next year; the new ari terminal for Quito, will be operative in feb 2013.

  6. Jim

    Any none stop flights to China planned. If so any idea when and to what city or cities

    1. Robin Slater

      No official news to date on whether or not flights to China will be available. If/when this might occur, we will keep you posted here.

  7. Lee Wright

    How easy is it going to be to access the new airport from the Cotacachi/Otavalo area?

    1. Robin Slater

      Once they complete the remaining planned road accesses, it should be fairly straight forward (from Calderon). You can actually go via El Quinche, and connect with the Panamerican Norte straight up to Cayambe, Otavalo & Ibarra.

  8. DG

    I’ve just recently heard that the new airport will now NOT be opening until February of 2013.

    Can anyone back this up, or does anyone have other info to the contrary?

    1. Robin Slater

      This delay has been confirmed. Although not the first timetable change (there have been numerous over the time the airport has been under construction), the new airport will apparently open on February 20th, 2013.

  9. Greggy

    Assuming the new airport will open in February, I have a quick turn around between flights in mid April and need a place to stay close to the airport. Any suggestions?

    1. Robin Slater

      Currently the only places to stay are in Quito (as there aren’t any new hotels currently being constructed in the area of the new airport … although I am sure this will change in time).

  10. BR

    Is there any possibility the new airport will open earlier than February 20, 2013? I am
    about to book a flight to Quito in late January and would prefer to arrive at the old
    airport. Can I assume that will be the case?

    1. Robin Slater

      Anything is possible (being Latin America). Although the new airport itself is apparently completely finished, and several cargo & passenger flights have been tested, they apparently will not officially open up the airport to commercial flights until February 20th, 2013 (mainly due to incomplete access roads).

  11. JONNY RIGOBERTO LUQUE BERMEO

    Puembo, cuenta con dos Hosterias que pueden llenar las espectativas de hospedaje para turistas y ejecutivos de negocios en un ambiente natural y de tranquilidad, estamos a solo 10 minutos del Aeropuerto y contamos con un clima primaveral, Puembo, rincòn de eterna primavera, jardìn de eterna primavera. Tierra bendecida por DIOS.

    1. conan

      viajando a Quito Marzo 6 reggresando 9. Busco una o dos habitaciones Viernes marzo 8, saliendo Marzo 9. Necesitria transporte al aeropuerto.
      Tambien busco rentar carro para regresarlo al aeropuerto o sucursal cerca.
      Apreciamos su sugernecia US 504 913 6871

      Estamos decidiendo sobre esto muy pronto
      Buen dia
      CONAN

  12. Tony T

    Will there be direct flights from Toronto Canada to the new airport. Currently you have a stop over in Bogota Columbia

    1. Robin Slater

      I have yet to see the airlines & flight routings for the new airport. As soon as this information becomes public information, I will immediately post this information.

  13. Nirav

    Hi, I am gonna travel from India in May and have booked my flight ticket, but as per the Ticket its the Old Airport. Next day I have a flight to Galapagos.. I wanted to know,
    1) Flights will arrive only at new airport?
    2) Will the New airport have domestic as well as international Flights too?

    Regards,
    Nirav

    1. Robin Slater

      All flights into and out of Quito as of 09h00 on February 20th are from the new airport in Tababela. The new Quito International airport is both for national/domestic and International flights.

  14. Eric

    Last month we went a couple of times by bus from the south if Quito to the north of Ecuador and back. We drove the Panamericana Highway from where you have a perfect overview of the new airport, because you drive some 200 (?) meters higher. Seems nicer than the old airport. But the airport is suffering from giant sand/dust storms from the north. I red this also in some newspapers. The solution is to fly only if the wind comes from the opposite direction? There is not any good direct connection to the south of Quito. To the north yes there is. As I live in Quitumbe in the south of Quito it will be a problem to go to or go home from the airport. In a cou[le .f years it will be better. I hope.

  15. Sheila D

    We are flying into Quito March 7 and our travel agent is telling us it will take 2.5 hours to drive to new town in Quito. This sounds quite different from what I’ve been reading here. Have the access roads been completed. Our return flight leaves at 6:25 am, so it means a lot to know what the length of time will be for transportation to and from the airport.

    1. Robin Slater

      Good afternoon Sheila,

      According to the latest information sources, passengers should calculate between 60 to 90 minutes travel time to get to/from the new airport. I am actually going down to the airport tomorrow morning on an organized presentation and will note first hand how long it takes for the trip.

      I will post a complete report shortly after my visit to the new airport.

  16. Steven Hamel

    Do you know how far the new airport is from Cotacachi? Or maybe driving time?

    1. Robin Slater

      By road, the new Quito International airport is 88 km (and would take on average 60 to 80 minutes bu road during average traffic. The most optimal route is via El Quinche, then connecting to the Panamerican Highway all the way to Cotacachi.

  17. Lisa

    Is it straightforward for a family of 4 to catch a taxi at the new airport and go to Mariscal Sucre?

    1. Robin Slater

      Apparently taxis are going to charge between USD $35 to $45 the trip (although these figures have not been officially confirmed). In addition, there apparently will be a direct bus system from Quito (from the old/original Quito airport terminal) out to the new airport costing USD $8 per person and with departures every 30 minutes through a company called AeroServicios. Apparently tickets can be purchased online at http://www.aeroservicios.com (as of February 15th, 2013).

    2. Elizabeth Rosero

      It’s going to be crazy, I wouldn’t travel there anytime soon until problems are ironed out. I was there recently Feb. 2013 and the people there are very worried!

  18. Bryan Haines

    Thanks for the post Robin – it answers many questions. Looks like its going to be a nice facility once it opens.

    1. Robin Slater

      Thanks Bryan. There are still a lot of wrinkles to iron out (predominately the access to/from the airport). I was actually expecting a larger terminal. Readers should be aware that at least for the first few weeks (especially first few days) of operation things will be a bit up in the air … no pun intended.

  19. Elizabeth Rosero

    I too was there in Feb. 2013 and I do not believe it will be ready Feb. 20 at all. It will certainly be problematic getting into the city from there, and expensive no doubt some travelers will be overcharged. Another point that worries me and I saw for myself was the heavy fog there. I talked to several people that live near there and they are afraid to drive with heavy fog. What’s going to happen? I presume many accidents for sure!

    1. Robin Slater

      Heavy fog was also a frequent challenge at the original airport site in Quito. As the runways are much longer and the new airport is out in the valley, the chances of accidents is generally reduced substantially.

  20. Meena

    Can someone please recommend a hotel close to the new quito airport. I am looking for a place to spend the night with my family on our way back from the Galapagos without having to drive into Quito?

    You feedback is appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Meena

    1. Robin Slater

      Meena,

      Without going back into Quito, there are currently limited options in/around Tababela (but I am absolutely certain this will change the coming years). In Pifo, Puembo and Tababela area you might want to try Hosteria San Jose (http://www.hosteriasanjose.com/), Garden Hotel San Jose, Mi Huasipungo (http://www.hosteriamihuasipungo.com).

      I will be personally visiting these options in the next few days and will have a complete report published soon.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Conan

        Appreciate your input on hotels near the NEW Airport and car rental/dropoff at New Airport
        My dad and I travelling through Quito first week in March and our return flight is 7AM so wish to switch to hotel near NEW airport for obvious reasons.
        my numbe 504 913 6871 txt works or call/voice mail

        Thank you very much in advance

        1. Robin Slater

          Conan,

          When I was at the new airport last week I saw no signs of rental car offices, drop off/pick up areas so looks like this is an area “still in progress”.

          If you send me an email (robin@sangay.com) I can look for nearby hotel accommodation for the night(s) you and your dad require. I personally now 4 accommodation options in the area (within 20 minutes of the airport terminal).

  21. Nancy

    Greetings,
    Any idea if the new airport provides luggage storage (for up to a week)?
    Thank you,
    Nancy

    1. Robin Slater

      Good question! I have a suspicion that there isn’t but it would be preemptive to say so for certain. I will make some phone calls to see if I can answer this very valid question.

    2. Robin Slater

      I was at the airport on Friday and currently there isn’t any luggage storage … but according to officials there “will more than likely be a luggage storage area within the next few weeks”.

      1. Toby

        Hi there, wondering if there has been any confirmation on the luggage storage scenario??

        Thanks

        1. Robin Slater

          I actually haven’t been down to the airport lately so will see if I can find this information out from local sources.

          1. Karla

            I am also wondering about luggage storage- hoping to leave a bag or two at the airport mid June.
            thanks!

          2. Robin Slater

            I will be down at the airport this Friday … and will personally check this situation for you.

        2. Robin Slater

          I can officially say that there is still no luggage storage at the new airport. Speaking to an airport representative last night (May 17th 2013) they say that quite possibly they will have a luggage storage area sometime in August 2013 (although the exact location they had no idea where it might be placed).

          This is turning out to be a bit of a broken record story as back in February I was told that “within a few weeks” and we are now mid-May.

          1. alexis

            I may need to store something for about 10 days too at UIO around Oct. 10…..any word on whether that is possible yet?

            thank you.
            alexis

          2. Robin Slater

            At present there is no luggage storage area in the new airport and is still a project “to be confirmed”. If /when I get confirmation that there is luggage storage facilities available at the new airport I will make an announcement.

          3. H.L. Todd

            Robin: OK, It’s now over a year since your last posting on luggage storage, left luggage, facilities at the airport. Have they indeed started some sort of facility?

            Thank,
            H.L. Todd

          4. Robin Slater

            To date there is STILL no luggage storage facility at the new Quito International airport.

  22. Carol

    Hi Robin, thank you so much for posting about Ecuador’s new airport. I’m going to be flying out and I’m very nervous. I read the postings here and what concerns me are the sand storm and fogs. Is this going to be an issue?? Or how about the mountains? What makes this airport safer besides that its not in a residential area? Thank you

    1. Robin Slater

      Carol … you are most welcome! Sand/dusty storms I think more relate to when they were clearing the grounds for the airport. The fog issue really isn’t that much of a chance from the original Quito airport. Perhaps there will be slightly less fog (time will tell) at the new airport location. Being an Andean country there are mountains all around, but not in such proximity of the airstrips as was the case with the old/original airport. Safety has increased partly due to the increased runway lengths, the lower altitude that it sits at and the more open approach/take off zones.

      1. Carol

        Robin- thank you again for answering my questions. Take care. Btw- hiw do you like there? I assume you live in Quito

        1. Robin Slater

          Always a pleasure Carol. Yes, I live in Quito … and wouldn’t change it for the world.

  23. Tommy

    We are scheduled to arrive in Quito on United airlines on Feb 19th at 5:30 pm. Will that flight be rerouted? News articles say old aiiport closing 5pm 19th. We wanted to fly to Manta on the 20th, so would need a place to stay the 19th. We made these arrangements way back not knowing all this about new airport dates. United just today say they have no flight changes scheduled to Quito. Any suggestions?

    1. Robin Slater

      According to official information I have received the old airport closes its operations at 19h00 (7pm) on the 19th of February so you should be fine (and one of the last) to land into the old/original airport.

  24. Toni

    My daughter is scheduled to fly out of the new airport on February 20th to Miami at 11:20. She is flying in from Manta that morning arriving at 9:05 a.m. Will that be enough time to get to the check-in for the international flight to Miami? She will only have carry-on bags.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    1. Robin Slater

      Looks like your daughter will be one of the very first people to arrive into the new airport (apparently it is opening up at 9 am). She will have enough time (especially with only carry-on)., but you might want to let her know to expect the unexpected … being that this will be it’s first day operating.

  25. Lotty Glassman

    Hi Robin.Your information is very helpfull and apreciated.Myself and my housband will be arriving on March 17 at 10.30 p.m. after a whole day of flying from San Diego.The folowing morning we have to fly to Cuenca.Could you please sugest a place to stay close to the new airport being that it is so late at night.We do have reservation at the Sebastian Hotel,but after reading all the information and concerns we we totally prefer to stay closer.Thank you so much.

    1. Robin Slater

      Lotty, if you send me an email (robin@sangay.com) I will send you the available options for the night of March 17th. Just let me know if you prefer a double room with two separate twin beds or one double bed.

  26. Kristy

    Hi robin,
    I tried sending you an email but it didn’t go through. I live in GYE and have friends coming via Delta Airlines in Quito on Friday night. They have to take a flight the next morning to GYE, so we just need something cheap for 2 people on Friday night the 22nd near the new airport. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Robin Slater

      Hello Kristy,

      I have contacted the only four places I know of in the area to find out if they have any rooms available. As soon as I hear from them (probably tomorrow) I will let you know.

  27. Bill

    I just found this place which says it is 5 minutes from hte new airport. Prices are around $50/nt. Sounds too good to be true. Does anyone know anything about it. I want to make a reservation for April 10th.

  28. Bill

    OOPS! I forgot the URL. http://airporthotelquito.com/quito-airport-hotels/ I tried to make a reservation. It was required that make a “$45″ deposit to hold the reservation. When I hit confirm it gave me an error message and said contact the owners with the error code. I have sent an e-mail to them. I’ll let you know what happens.

    Robin, I can’t imagine that you did not find this place in your scouting. That’s why I am suspicious. Please let me know what you think.

    1. Robin Slater

      Hello Bill,

      I am going down to the airport on Friday, and will check this out (and visit the location indicated on the map). Will keep you posted!

      1. mark

        is the new airport open 24 hours so that you can just sleep in the airport on the floor?

        1. Robin Slater

          Mark,

          According to all the information I have access to the new Quito International airport will be open 24-hours a day (and therefore have to presume sleepingis allowed but cannot 100% verify this at this moment). Mind you, on my last visit, I noticed an extreme lack of chairs and seating options … so the floor might be the best option!

      2. Bill

        I received an automated confirmation for the night in question. It was not a direct reply to my question. It was originally stated that I had to pay $45 up front to “guarantee” the reservation. Nothing was mentioned of this in the automated reply, so I don’t know if I have a guaranteed reservation or not.

        I am, however, impressed with the website. It is very well done. And as you noted, it is very close to the airport, and they include a map showing exactly where it is. I really hope this turns out to be a real find, because it sure solves a lot of our problems. Once the word gets out on this place I’m sure it will be booked every night.

        Thanks for your help Robin, I’m looking forward to what you find out on Friday.

        1. Robin Slater

          I quickly scanned the area (forgot to take the map of the hotel with me) and was unable to quickly locate this hotel (it may exist but has no visible sign … and therefore, it would appear to be a modified house if it does exist). Will take a closer look this weekend.

        2. Robin Slater

          Bill, I can now say that the Quito Airport Suites appears to be legit. I found a direct reference via a blog site run by a reputable Canadian couple here in Ecuador (Bryan & Denna Haines). Here is the article that I found: http://www.gringosabroad.com/new-quito-intl-airport-opens-updates-effects-on-ecuador/

  29. Tom

    The first landed airplane at NQIA

  30. Jason

    Robin very interested in airporthotel quito. Bringing a large group and interested in the standard. Thanks Jason

    1. Robin Slater

      Jason, I can now say that the Quito Airport Suites appears to be legit. I found a direct reference via a blog site run by a reputable Canadian couple here in Ecuador (Bryan & Denna Haines). Here is the article that I found: http://www.gringosabroad.com/new-quito-intl-airport-opens-updates-effects-on-ecuador/

  31. Polly

    Hi Bill and Robin,

    I’m also eager to hear your findings about the accommodation very near the new airport, and hope you were able to visit yesterday. I too tried to make a reservation, but got the error message. I e mailed and they responded to say they have difficulty with their web site and are trying to fix it so people can pay their deposit, but in the meantime they will not confirm they are holding a room for me the date I want – they say it’s a first come fist served basis, and only a deposit will secure a room. That’s fine ………. however I need a room in ten days time, so I think that’s a little odd?

    1. Robin Slater

      Polly, I can now say that the Quito Airport Suites appears to be legit. I found a direct reference via a blog site run by a reputable Canadian couple here in Ecuador (Bryan & Denna Haines). Here is the article that I found: http://www.gringosabroad.com/new-quito-intl-airport-opens-updates-effects-on-ecuador/

  32. Chris

    Hi Robin-
    First thanks for all the updates. I’m not flying in until the end of July but love hearing the progress and time it is taking to get into Quito. You said you were heading over to the airport this past Friday, how does it look and how is everything going? Excited to see what you have say. Again-thanks for all the updates!! Chris

    1. Robin Slater

      Hi there Chris,

      I have been down at the airport several times in the past few days (and at different times of the day … 4am, 11am, 3pm) so have a better handle on things like how long it takes to get there and back at different times of the day, the costs and schedules of the Airport Express Bus & local bus options, car rental option, parking, luggage storage, seating, ATMs, food & drink … to name but a few aspects I have managed to clear up.

      Will be posting a new article covering these important and useful aspects to the airport.

  33. Jan Schuijt

    Today, 26 febraury, I was at the new airport. Compared to the old airport, the new one is really beautiful. To see how it all works on site.
    As mentioned, international traffic is not separated from domestic air traffic. Departure Desk is clearly indicated on monitors.
    If you will be taken away can you park near the hall.
    Maximum parking time is 15 minutes, for free, but you may pay more parking. Suitcases out of the car and car moving to visitors parking deck.
    In the departure lounge you can still leave your suitcase sealing, this is clearly indicated.
    We fly Sunday from the new airport’m wondering if it all goes so fast. Spot is enough staff that you refer to the intended place.

  34. Bil

    Hi Robin:

    Did you go to the airport on Friday. Do you have anymore info???

    Bill

    1. Robin Slater

      Hi there Bill,

      Yes, ending up spending over fours hours milling around the airport on Friday (as the flight I was waiting for was supposed to arrive at 11h50 but ended up arriving a 15h00. So, during the almost 4 hours at the airport got my homework done. Will be writing a thorough update within the next day or two.

      1. Bill Rodgers

        Robin

        I will be looking forward to more information on the Quito Airport Suites. They sent me an email confirmation, but I could not pay the $45 to guarantee, because their process server was not working. That seems to be a big problem for them. They seem to be very enterprising people.

        Thanks for the blog info. It does seem to be legit from reading there. I just wish they could tell me if the reservation is confirmed.

        You are a real jewel for helping everyone out with all your replies.

        Thanks, Bill

  35. Carla

    Are there any buses that come and go from the new airport that go North on the Panamerican Highway towards Cayambe?

    1. Robin Slater

      The only means of doing this is catching a bus at the end of the airport highway at Tababela. Here (along the road that connects Pifo with El Quinche) there are buses heading in the direction of El Quinche and onwards to Cayambe, Otavalo, Ibarra etc.

  36. Darcy Wheal

    I have clients that are arriving to the new Quito airport in mid April.
    Is there a “ground transportation taxi kiosk” located in the airport where they can purchase preaid taxi transfers from the airport to their downtown Quito Hotel OR do they just take whatever taxi is curbside at the airport ?

    1. Robin Slater

      Darcy,

      Upon exiting the Arrival terminal, you will see numerous taxi cabs lined up outside the doors. There are no pre-paid taxi services, only metered. The average cost apparently is between USD $25 to $30 (depending on traffic etc) to Quito. The only fixed cost transportation options are: (1) Aeroservicios Express Airport buses at USD $8 per person (to take you to the old airport terminal in Quito … from whereyou can catch a taxi to your final destination (e.g., hotel); and (2) Collective/public bus that costs USD $2 and takes you to the Coca Bus Terminal in Quito … again, you can then catch a cab from there to your final destination.

  37. Jason

    Robin did you go by and check out the Airport suites yet ? I spoke with the owner seemed to be very nice. Wondering what the rooms and surrounding are like. Thanks Jason

    1. Robin Slater

      Although I didn’t manage to go inside to check it out, I can tell you that it is located in the heart of Tababela town (some 8 minutes from the airport terminal). It looks like a converted house(s) from the street point of view … and no visible sign outside (at least when I drove past).

  38. Mark

    Hi Robin,

    See a ton of discussion on your website about traveling to Ecuador and through the new Quito Airport. I just got back so I thought I would throw my hat into the ring. Departed from ATL on Delta this past Friday 8 March and arrived at the New Quito Airport about 1030pm, just a few minutes ahead of the AA flight arriving from Miami. Went from plane to customs and through baggage claim in 22 minutes. There are 24 windows, 17 were in use and 10 for non-ecuadorians. Line moved quickly (22 min total, probably would have been around 30 min if I took a pit stop before getting in line). There are two floors, arrivals on ground floor and departures on second floor.

    Once through the baggage claim was met by our driver from the Hosteria San Carlos Tababela. We decided to stay there because we were flying to GYE the next morning and didnt need to drive into downtown just to get a few hours sleep. (By the way , I went on line and booked room at Hosteria San Carlos Tababela for $40 and $10 dollar round trip transfer, they confirmed with an email). I also knew about the Quito Airport Suites. I talked to the owner, Dom, and they are not open for a couple more weeks.

    Our driver had my name and the name of the hosteria on the sign. I saw him as soon as I came out of baggage claim. He spoke fluent English. Put me in the van and to the hosteria in 10 min. Checked in at midnight, handed me a free bottle of ice cold water and showed me to my room. Very clean room, great shower! and slept until 6am. Had a 7:55am flight on LAN the next morning.

    Left Hosteria San Carlos at 6:45am, drove back to the airport in 10 min, and checked into LAN (second floor departures and domestic is on the right as you enter) for my trip down to Guayaquil. Spent the weekend down there and then flew back at 6pm Monday 11 March to Quito in order to catch red-eye flight back to ATL. So, after arriving at 7pm on the domestic side, walked through the baggage claim and out into the terminal lobby area, straight to the escalator and up to the second floor departure area, left is international side. The Delta counters were not open unitl 8pm. Hung out at Johnny Rockets where there is free wifi. But at 8pm, Delta promptly opened with 5-6 counters (including Medallion Lane). Got my ticket, went through customs in about 2 min, and went to the VIP lounge and waited for my flight back to ATL.

    It was very easy. Most folks I met in the lounge or standing in line were headed to or from the Galapagos. All said they went into Quito. Took about 1-1.5 hours. The employees I asked said it took them 1-2hours to get to work at the new airport depending on the time of day. My experience was easy and enjoyable, because I coordinated to stay at the San Carlos Tababela instead of going into Quito (knowing I was catching an early flight). I don’t speak spanish and didnt have to. If I was staying for a few days in Quito I would have taken a taxi and sat back and relaxed and rested my eyes in the back of the cab.

    If you are not staying and just transfering to go to Cuenca or the Galapagos, try to get a hosteria outside of town. Not sure if this will help, but having just got back, thought I would pass on my New Quito Airport experience.

    1. Robin Slater

      Thanks Mark for throwing your hat into the ring.

  39. Rana Z

    We have an early morning flight back to the States next week and have some concern about how much time we need for checking bags and getting to gate. Flight is at 6:15. Do we really need to arrive 4 hours before?
    Would appreciate hearing from anyone with recent checkin experiene for international flights. Thanks

    1. Robin Slater

      I recently had a client with the same flight departure time (i.e., 06h15). I picked them up from their Quito hotel at 03h15 and had them at the Quito airport 45 minutes later. Although this is cutting it a little close, I would personally recommend that you allow 60 minutes to get to the airport and arrive their two hours ahead of time (so three hours in total).

  40. anice

    I am arriving at 10:30pm…My hostel does not provide pick up service. Will there still be taxis to take us to Quito….Thank you,

    1. Robin Slater

      Yes, there are taxis lined up outside the Arrival Terminal. The cost should be aprox. USD $25 – $30 depending on where your hostel is located in Quito.

  41. Dana

    I am headed to Quito at the end of the month and was concerned about my turn around time with the new airport. I am traveling alone for this leg of my trip. Are the hotels you have mentioned safe for a single woman traveling alone? I arrive just before 10 pm (if all goes as planned) and leave on one of the first flight out to Galapagos the next morning. I think going all the way into Quito would be a waste of time. Also, do you know if the VIP lounge is open 24 hours. Thanks for all the information! Your site is really helpful!

    1. Robin Slater

      Dana,

      From what I can tell all of the limited hotels mentioned are safe for single women … as I haven’t heard otherwise to date. Although I know the airport is open 24-hours I will have to get my feelers out there to know for certain if the VIP lounge is also open 24-hours …. I presume so, but let me see if I can get this confirmed.

    2. Robin Slater

      Dana, I have just received official confirmation from the airport authorities that the VIP lounge is open 24 hours. Keep in mind that the VIP lounge is located in the pre-embarking area and therefore all passengers must pass through the check-in counters and check-in for their flight ahead of time.

  42. Dom

    Hi Im Dom at Quito Airport Suites, we did in fact open a bit late, on March 8th, our scheduled opening was March 4th but we didnt make it…

    We are fully fuctional now and can help with any transfer or request that you need. we can provide airport pick ups and drop offs 24 hrs a day and we are only 5 minutes drive from the new main UIO terminal. thanks, Dom airporthotelquito.com

    1. Robin Slater

      Hello Dom,

      Thanks for the update. If you could let our readers know your room rates and the best way to get in contact with you to make reservations.

      Warmest regards,

      Robin

  43. Aghi

    Hi, Is there a Hertz car rental office at the new airport? I have confirmation for pick up on the 30th March at Quito Airport. I presume they already moved to their new place…
    Thank you for your time to answer.

    1. Robin Slater

      Aghi, in the article found here (http://www.sangay.com/ecuadorguide/ecuador/quito-international-airport-updated-details-one-week-after-inauguration/) I make mention of the car rental offices. Yes, Hertz is one of them and at the time of publishing this article, Hertz (and the other car rental companies) offices were operating from 07h00 to 21h30 in the new airport.

  44. Dom

    Sure Robin, we offer rooms with Direct TV, English Tv Channels, WIFI, breakfast included and 24 hr staff with English speaking assistance.

    Our rates (subject to change) are all taxes included
    Single $49
    Matrimonial $55
    Double 2 bed room $60
    Triple 3 ppl 2 beds $65
    Cuad 4 ppl 2 beds $75

    Airport pick ups are available upon request for an extra fee of $8 paid directly to our driver and drop offs are available 24 hrs a day for $4.

    Best way to make reservations is via our site airporthotelquito.com thanks, Dom

  45. Ahmad khan

    Hi,I got flight tomorrow to Amsterdam.i bought a ticket before 20 February 2013.do I need to pay any airport tax and how much it is. Thanks

    1. Robin Slater

      You will need to check with the airline you are using, but normally for International flights the increase is USD $15.86 payable in USD cash at the time of check in.

  46. Cheryl

    Just read the previous comment on the additional taxes for international flights. Also saw elsewhere that there is an additional tax for domestic flights. I am flying Quito to/from Cuenca and also purchased my ticket before 2/20. Will I have to pay the new tax for each leg of the Quito-Cuenca trip? Thanks!

    1. Robin Slater

      The tax increase applies to both domestic and International flights. For International flights the tax increase is USD $15.86 and for domestic flights is USD $8.17. I can’t tell you with certainty if this applies to each leg … you will have to check directly with the airline for clarification on this very valid question!

  47. Rosie G

    I need a recommendation for the best and safest accommodations near the New Quito Airport. The lodging that you have mentioned looks great, but I truly need something safe for my mother for an overnight stay, she will need to be at the airport by 6:00a.m. I would also need a name and phone number of a reliable taxi service that could pick her up in the morning and take her to the airport. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you

    1. Robin Slater

      I would say that Rincon de Puembo is your best bet, followed by Hacienda San Jose (both in Puembo). Both of these I belive can set up transportation to/from the airport (at an addition cost).

  48. Andrew Wolf

    The new airport is clean and about as nice as the one in Lima.

  49. Tim

    Does anyone know how long the drive from Quito to the airport for the 11:20 Pm flight to ATL? Thanks in advance.

    Tim

    1. Robin Slater

      Tim, as this is an International flight technically you need to check in 3 hours prior (i.e., 8:20pm). It will take between 45 to 60 minutes to get from Quito to the airport at this time of night.

  50. Michelle

    Will be going direct from airport to Otavalo in September. Does anyone know if there is transport from airport to Otavalo ? Cost? How long it takes etc ? If not Imight have to book a hotel that provides this. Thank you. Ps Robin you are amazing with all your help to everyone.

    1. Robin Slater

      Michelle, from what I can see the bulk of the transportation options (i.e., taxi, local bus & Aeroservicios Express Airport bus) all link with Quito only. If I am not mistaken, you would either have to prearrange a private transfer up to Otavalo (i.e., with a hotel etc) or hire a taxi cab (the later would work out rather expensive I feel). Travelling by car, taxi etc to Otavalo should only take about 90 minutes (+/- 15 minutes depending on traffic) from teh airport. I hazzard to guess a taxi might charge about USD $50 for the trip (but this is a guesstimate). If you are not in a rush to get up Otavalo the moment you arrive, you could always come into Quito, and then catch a regular public bus from Quito up to Otavalo (which should cost aprox. $5).

  51. Betsy Kalish

    Does anyone know if there is a place to store baggage overnight at the airport in Quito? I am flying in and arriving at 11PM with 6 suitcases (two of us) and then we have a 6AM flight to Manta the next morning. We have palace to stay but I am looking for a way NOT to schlep our bags back and forth for the quick overnight.

    1. Robin Slater

      I can officially say that there is still no luggage storage at the new airport. Speaking to an airport representative on May 17th 2013 they say that quite possibly they will have a luggage storage area sometime in August 2013 (although the exact location they had no idea where it might be placed).

      This is turning out to be a bit of a broken record story as back in February I was told that “within a few weeks” and we are now mid-May.

  52. Lisette

    I have a room in Tababela and the airport transfer is $5 per person if I use the hosteria service. with 3 people this seems high ($15). Would a taxi from the airport to Tababela for 3 people and bags be higher or lower? I see taxi rates to Quito but not to Tababela.

  53. C

    I’d also like to know more about taxi service from Tababela. Is it easy to find a taxi there to take to the airport?

    It also seems that the only bus from Ibarra to go south to Pifo is Cita, which has one bus at 6:30 am and one at 1 pm or so.

    1. Robin Slater

      There are taxi cabs located right outside the terminals. In addition, inside the terminal at the information counter there is a chart of the official taxi rates.

  54. Rick

    Robin, I must say that the information that you have provided here is excellent! So glad that I came across your site!

    I did have a quick question about the access roads — is the main road into Quito still the only decent/viable road to/from the airport? Will be driving down to Santo Domingo and was wondering if any southbound access had been opened up since you had written about the airport access. Would prefer not having to go through downtown if I can help it.

    Thanks! Again, thanks so much for the great information!!

    1. Robin Slater

      Hi there Rick,

      Thanks for your kind & supportive words – greatly appreciated.

      In a later article (http://www.sangay.com/ecuadorguide/ecuador/quito-international-airport-updated-details-one-week-after-inauguration/ I published a slightly more detailed map of the region (www.sangay.com/ecuadorguide/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/QUITO-ROAD-TIME-MAP.jpg).

      The main access is still to/from the Quito airport via Tababela, Pifo, Tumbaco & Cumbaya.

      They are currently working on expanding the Cusubamba-Tababela portion, which will allow greater flow of travel coming from the Panamerican (i.e., from Cayambe, Otavalo etc from the north … or from Guayllabamba, Calderon and the very north portion of Quito).

      IMPORTANT NOTE: They are currently in the process of construction a 6-lane (3-lanes in each direction) bridge across the Rio Chiche (the new 6-lane bridge si being built slightly further west than the current 2-lane bridge. It also appears that they are building a bypass road behind Tumbaco to connect closer to Quito but don’t have all the details yet.

      Warmest regards,

      Robin

      1. Rick

        Had a great trip this past week and wanted to follow-up for anyone else looking at this. While the way is still under construction, south-bound access to/from the airport is much simpler than it was to the old airport (unless you knew the roads through Quito better than I). The way is well-marked all the way from Aloag with signs at all major turning points except 1 (the roundabout at Sangolquí doesn’t indicate the airport direction until *after* you’ve taken the correct road — would be better if the roundabout signage had the airport indicated on them). Overall, very nice. Once the construction to widen the roads is complete, it will be even nicer.

        A word to those traveling during peak transit hours (morning and afternoon, when people are going to or coming from work) that the road from Tambillo through to Sangolqui can be really stop-and-go so make sure to plan plenty of time to get to the airport without stress.

  55. Bridget

    I’m considering returning to Quito next year. This information is really useful. Thank you for taking the time to gather it.

    1. Robin Slater

      You’re most welcome Bridget.

  56. Amy

    Hi there,

    Does anyone know if there is storage lockers at the airport yet? I will be diving in the Galapagos then traveling around Ecuador and it would be best if I don’t need to lug around the dive gear.

    If there is still no storage at the airport does anyone know if they provide storage at Hosteria San Carlos Tababela. That is where we will be staying at the beginning and end of our trip. And if there is storage, is it secure?

    the gear would need to be stored for about 10 days.

    Thanks for the info, Amy

    1. Robin Slater

      From my last check (a few weeks ago) there are still no luggage storage facilities at the Quito airport. Most hotels do provide luggage storage service but you will need to check/confirm this directly with the hotel in question.

  57. Pauline

    Robin,

    thank yo very much for your detailed and informative posts. This is a huge help in planning my trip.

    I will be traveling to the Galapagos with my husband and parents and will spend the first 2 night in Quito at the Hilton. Our flight to Baltra is at 9:10 on Sunday morning. Should we still allow 3 hours to get to the airport and get checked in? I wasn’t sure if the day of the week made a difference with the travel time.

    Thank you,
    Pauline

    1. Robin Slater

      Pauline,

      Your are most welcome! I presume you are flying on LAN XL1553 which takes off from the Quito airport at 09h10. Depending on the service provider (I know a few that I personally deal with for my clients that provide a complimentary airport transfer from the Hilton Colon Quito to take passengers to the airport). This service usually leaves the Hilton Colon at 06h00. However, this is not a public system and is only offered to select clients.

      Regardless, yes you need to contemplate leaving Hilton 3 hours prior to flight departure (i.e., one hour to get to the airport, and two hours to pass through the two check points (INGALA Tourist Control Card) and then the SICGAL luggage screening, and then to the airline counter to check-in for the flight.

      1. pauline carter

        Hello Robin,

        my apologies for not replying to you earlier, I did not realize you had responded to my post.

        I do not have a service provider as I booked our holiday independently. Would it be possible to book an airport transfer to/from the Hilton through you?

        Thank you.
        Pauline

        1. Robin Slater

          Good evening Pauline,

          Yes by all means. Just send me an email to robin@sangay(dot)com with your details I will make the necessary arrangements.

  58. Grant

    Hello – Thanks for all this great information!

    Is it possible to spend the night in the new Quito airport? We arrive at midnight from Lima, and depart at 05:30 for Los Angeles. Only 5 hours, so no point in trying to get to and from a hotel.

    Will we need to pass through Ecuador immigration, or is there an airside international transit lounge that we can wait in? Thanks!

    1. Robin Slater

      Grant,

      While there are currently no hotels right at the airport, the next best option is a limited number of places in Tababela village that offer accommodation (e.g., Quito Airport Suites (more like a B&B) & Mi Huasipungo.

      An alternative is the VIP lounges (Spanish link: http://www.aeropuertoquito.aero/es/informacion-para-pasajeros/sala-vip.html) which apparently cost USD $25+tax per person.

      Warmest regards,

      Robin

  59. Jeannette

    Hi Robin,
    It is so great to have all this information to help plan our trip!! Terrible flight schedule; arrive Quito 12:55am, leave at 5:30am. I am now trying to find accommodations nearby for the arrival night and the departure night. Your tips are priceless!!
    Thank you so much for taking this time to be helpful.

    1. Robin Slater

      My pleasure! You might want to consider the VIP lounge (if taking taking an International flight at 5:30am). If not, perhaps Quito Airport Suites (or similar) close by!! Happy trails.

  60. Jeannette

    I made a reservation at Quito Airport Suites for Feb. 6. However, just realized that the plane lands at 12:55am on the 7th. I just sent them an email to make sure we will have a room.
    Thanks for all your tips.

  61. Colin

    I am passing thro Quito in March, staying in the city for a couple of nights. I do not want to carry more than a minimum amount of cash around the city. Can I obtain cash at the airport when I leave and if so, what hours will any cash office be open. Many thanx in anticipation

    1. Robin Slater

      There are at least four different ATMs at the Quito International Airport … accessible 24-hours a day.

  62. Lupita

    My flight leaves at 6:30am on Saturday. I will be coming down from Ibarra. Can I spend the night in the airport? Other airports let you do that I was just wondering about Quito.

    1. Robin Slater

      Yes, the Quito airport is open 24-hours .. so yes, you can spend the overnight in the airport.

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