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Tuesday 22 August 2023

Flying In Colombia With WIngo's Boeing 737-800 (MDE-BOG)

 Welcome to my 2nd part of my Colombia Flying Adventure with Wingo! 


When I started looking for flights in Colombia, Viva Air was my first choice, however as some of you know, the airline went bankrupt so I had to look for an alternative. I was able to book my one way ticket with Viva Air on their website but received a refund few days later without reason given. It's only a few weeks later, the airline officially announced they were suspending their operation and eventually led to it's closure. 

So searching for alternatives, Satena and Wingo came into my mind. As I wanted to visit MDE airport, Wingo was my option as they flew out from the airport. My flight to MDE was with Avianca. As for Satena, it had an interesting aircraft that I was keen to fly, that is the ERJ-145, the Embraer jet would have been a new aircraft type for me but I decided to go ahead with Wingo for 2 reasons: flying out of MDE airport and trying out this airline as I am attracted to the livery. For Satena, it uses the smaller airport in Medellin, that is the EOH airport (Olaya Herrera Airport) and is a hub for this airline and Easyfly. I didn't feel like transfering from one airport to another and besides Avianca, LATAM Colombia and Wingo do not operate to this airport. After some thoughts, I would come back next time to fly with Satena for the ERJ-145 aircraft and Easyfly for the ATR42/72. Anyway without further ado, let's begin this trip report! 

About Wingo 

Wingo is a Colombia (Bogota) based airline set up by Copa Holdings to replace its Copa Airlines Colombia business in 2016. The former airline was making losses for several years before the decision to shut down and replaced by this low-cost carrier. Wingo is currently operating a fleet of 9 Boeing 737-800 and these aircraft used to operate by Copa Colombia. Initially it operated 4 Boeing 737-700 but they lasted for 4 years before being replaced by the -800 series. For now, it is operating on former Copa Colombia' routes with new routes added to give Avianca and LATAM Colombia some competition especially with Viva Air and Ultra Air going under due to financial difficulties. 

This is the route map of Wingo (Wingo's website) 

Airline's Mobile App 

Altogether I paid around US$49 which includes the extra legroom space and this is much cheaper than how much I paid for the Avianca's flight. 

I booked my flight using the airline's mobile app without any issues. The interface of the airline's app was user-friendly with all the important information being shown and I had no difficulty using it. I also received information on the important flight changes and for that, I give this mobile app thumbs up. 

About Medellin Airport

Jose Maria Cordova International Airport is located about 20km south-east of Medellin and is the 2nd biggest airport in Colombia, after Bogota's El Dorado International Airport. This airport was named after a Colombian army general and was opened in August 1985. As you can see the photos, the interior of the airport has been in its original state and it brings some form of nostalgia of aviation in the 1990s to me. Avianca, Avianca Cargo and LATAM Colombia operate this airport as their hub as this airport operates both domestic and international airport. As the size of the airport is small, it is not a surprise there is only a single runway (runway 1/19). Despite the airport's outdated infrastructure, the airport authorities have been doing updates to ensure the airport's tip-top condition to handle both domestic and international operation. 

The land side of the terminal 

Free WiFi is available at the airport 

Somehow this airport brings back memories of Batam (Indonesian Airport). 

There are a few restaurants available at the land side. 

Sadly this airline had also went under. 

I would love to see both airlines making a come back, will that happen? 

As the airport was small, it was crowded everywhere so finding a place to sit was challenging. 

This is the international departure hall for flights mostly to U.S and Central America. 

To get to town, you can grab Uber or Taxi which will take about 45 minutes to get to the city. 

Another airport added to my travelling logbook. :) 

At this point, I was feeling hungry so I went back in to hunt for some local food. 

There is a local restaurant on the 2nd level. 

The check-in desk for Wingo. 

After considering a few options, I settled for South American food at the Guacamole Grill restaurant on the 2nd level (Land side).

Starbucks is available at this airport. 

The view from the parking lot opposite the terminal. 

I headed towards the domestic departure hall as I was ready to explore the airside. 

Security and passport/boarding pass check were done after 15 minutes. 

My flight was the 2nd last flight for the day. 


It is a photograhy-friendly airport, so photographing aircraft at the tarmac was not a problem.

LATAM's Airbus A320 preparing for departure. 

The interior of the airside (gate area)

This is one of the Wingo's 737-800, what do you think of the livery?

LATAM's Airbus A320 

Viva's livery on this A320NEO reminds me of Spirit Airlines. 

Isn't the background lovely? 

This is Spirit Airlines' livery (Photo: Jason Whitebird)

This is where my flight was departing from, gate 1C. Every announcement was in Spanish so I have to guess and wateh the movement of other passengers. Boarding from these gates means your aircraft is parked a remote parking lot. 

The Star Alliance livery of Avianca 

I was lucky to spot this beautiful rainbow while plane spotting. 

This livery of Avianca is certainly growing on me. 

Soon it was time to board. 

It turns out we didn't have to take the bus as our plane was parked near the terminal. 

Just a 3 minutes walk from the terminal and we reached our aircraft. 

Anyone else like to board the aircraft this way? I certainly do. 

Taking in the beautiful scenery before boarding the aircraft. 

Welcome on board Wingo! 

My ride: HP-1537CMP (Photo: Tomas Acevado S) 

My first 737-800 ride with the split-scimitar winglets
Boeing 737-8V3 
Transferred from Copa Airlines in Janurary 2020
Configuration: Y186
Engines: 2 X CFM56-7B26 
3114th Boeing 737 built 
Built in Renton (RNT)
Age: 13+ years old (June 2023) 

Flight route: MDE-BOG 

Miles: 134

Date of departure: 5th June 2023 
Airlines: Wingo Airlines (Former Copa Airlines Colombia) 
Flight: P5 7277
Route: MDE-BOG 
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: HP-1537CMP
Gate: 1C 
Flight schedule: 35 minutes 
Actual flight time: 27 minutes 
Load: 60%
Schedule departure: 1839 
Boarding: 1806
Push back: 1835 
Take off: 1847 
Schedule arrival: 1931
Actual arrival: 1914
Departure runway: 01 
Arrival runway: 13R

My flight experience 

It was nice to be able to board the aircraft by walking from the terminal to the aircraft. Once on board, it turned out to be slightly more than 60% load for the flight and I was fortunate again to have the whole row to myself. The announcements on board was done in both English and Spanish and that was great. The Captain gave us a good update on our flight path and soon after we were on our way. It seems more airlines are doing the one engine taxi and starting up the other engine when the aircraft is closed to the runway, this is one of the ways to save fuel. Once we were airbourne, we enjoyed some magnificent view. No in-flight service like my previous and once again BOB (Buy on Board) service was available. This flight ended up one minute earlier than my previous flight (Avianca) and that means this flight breaks my record for being the shortest flight in my logbook, 27 minutes of flying time on a commercial flight! My previous shortest route was Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and flying time is around 40-50 minutes depending on weather and ATC conditions. 

A big kudos to the pilots as the pilot-in-command executed one of the best landings I had experienced, the landing gear made a soft thud on the surface (you can hardly feel the impact) before the reverse thrusts were deployed. Well done! One more thing, my ears had no issue comparing to the aircraft (LV-FUA) I flew with Aerolineas Argentinas' 737-800 which is about the same age as this aircraft, strange right? 

Economy Class photos 

For the first 4 rows, it features seats with extra legroom space. I decided to pay another US$7 for it to enjoy the return flight back to Bogota. 

I was seated at the last row of this extra legroom section. 

The legroom space behind my seat is around 29-30 inches.

While for the extra legroom seats, the seat pitch is around 32-33 inches. 

There is no headrest for these seats. This cabin product is quite common among low cost carriers.

Wingo's aircraft do not have WiFi or any form of entertainment installed on their aircraft. 

What do you think of these seats? 

The cabin features the older Boeing cabin interior. 

More photos of my seat 

Legroom space is good. I was fortunate to have the whole row to myself. 

The overhead panel 

Safety Card 

BOB Service (Buy On Board)

(Take off to Landing) Window view 

The sky turned dark quite quickly as we departed just before the sun set. 

As you can see how dark it was when we started rolling down the runway. 

Goodbye Medellin! 

This ride ended up to be my shortest flight in my history of flying, 27 minutes in the air! 

It was a beautiful day of flying, hardly any turbulence during this short flight. 

Just like my previous flight,  there was no in-flight service. 

We touched down smoothly at BOG airport. 

I spotted an Avianca's 787-8 preparing for departure. 

My Flight Summary 

Back at Bogota El Dorado Airport (BOG)

Thanks for the ride, HP-1537CMP! 

With that, my daytrip to Medellin came to an end. 

Mission Avianca and Wingo completed. 

This is the departure hall (land side). I hanged around before calling for Uber to take me to my accomodation.

I didn't wait very long for my ride to come. 

My rating 

Airline's website/mobile app: 4/5
Airport Staff at MDE Airport: 4/5
In-Flight Service: 4/5
In-Flight Experience: 4/5 
Cleanliness of the cabin: 5/5 
In-Flight Entertainment System: 0/5
In-Flight Snack/Meal: 0/5
Punctuality: 5/5 
Seat comfort: 4/5
Cabin interior: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 33.5/50
Percentage: 67%


I have to be honest, I didn't know much about this airline before deciding on the airlines to fly in Colombia. Once I found out more about this airline, I wanted to fly on it. My original plan was to do 2 domestic return flights which include Avianca, Ultra Air, Vivo Air and this airline but as you all know what happened to Ultra and Vivo.

What impressed me about this airline is the user-friendly mobile app, the ability to book directly with the airline and the nice crew I met on board. The seat was decent with nice legroom space for the front rows. However, the cabin amenities is basic. There is no in-flight entertainment or business class seats to enjoy,  as the airline is only focused on what the general public or price conscious travellers needs and that is to get from point A to B without spending a lot. This is the role of a low cost carrier. 

I am glad to have tried out this airline and do I recommand this airline to anyone? Yes, it is a reliable airline along with LATAM Colombia and Avianca. Remember that those 2 airlines are full service and you get more compared to flying with this airline. So you need to decide whether you need those service (Better seats, In-Flight Entertainment, collecting or redeeming miles on flights or upgrade, In-Flight snack/meal), if you need them, then those 2 airlines mentioned earlier would be a better choice. For price conscious travellers, this airline is highly recommended. 

Hope you enjoy this trip report! 

For my previous trip report (Avianca BOG-MDE A320), click here.

For my next trip report: Flying Copa Airlines 737-700 from BOG to PTY, click here.


1 comment:

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