Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport

Mariscal Sucre International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre
Airport type Defunct
Operator Corporación Quiport S.A.
Serves Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Elevation AMSL 9,228 ft / 2,813 m
Coordinates 00°08′28″S 078°29′17″W / 0.14111°S 78.48806°W / -0.14111; -78.48806Coordinates: 00°08′28″S 078°29′17″W / 0.14111°S 78.48806°W / -0.14111; -78.48806
Website www.aeropuertoquito.aero

Location within Ecuador

Direction Length Surface
m ft
17/35 3,120 10,236 Asphalt (closed)
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 8,900,000 (approx)
Source: DAFIF[1][2]

Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre) (IATA: UIO, ICAO: SEQU) was the main international airport serving Quito, Pichincha Province, Ecuador. It was the busiest airport in Ecuador by passenger traffic, by aircraft movement and by cargo movement, and one of the busiest airports in South America. It was named after Venezuelan-born Antonio José de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian and Latin American independence. It began operations in 1960, and during its last years of operation, handled about 6.2 million passengers and 164,000 metric tons of freight per year. The airport, one of the highest in the world (at 2,800 metres or 9,200 feet AMSL) is located in the northern part of the city, in the Chaupicruz parish, within 5 minutes of Quito's financial center; the terminals are located at the intersection of Amazonas and La Prensa avenues. Mariscal Sucre International was the largest hub for TAME with an average of 50 daily departures.

The former airport is now the site of Parque Bicentenario, the biggest urban park in Quito.

The old Mariscal Sucre International Airport ceased all operations at 19:00 (7:00 p.m.) on February 19, 2013, following the departure of TAME flight 321 to Guayaquil (scheduled for 18:55). Iberia operated the final international departure from the airport. On February 20, 2013, all operations moved to the new Mariscal Sucre International Airport. The first domestic flights scheduled to arrive at the new airport were TAME Flight 302 originating in Guayaquil, and LAN Flight 2590 originating in Lima, Peru. Arrival times were scheduled for 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. respectively.[3][4]

Due to its location in the middle of a city surrounded by mountains, the old airport could no longer be expanded to accommodate any larger aircraft or an increase in air traffic. Its operation posed risks; six serious accidents and several incidents have occurred in recent years.[5][6] The new airport is being built in the Tababela parish, about 18 km to the east of the city. This is being constructed by a private consortium and began operations on 20 February 2013.[7][8]

The airport charged an international departure tax of US $40.80 as of 1 March 2009. As of February 2011, this fee was no longer paid at the airport, it was included in all international airfares.


Mariscal Sucre International Airport was inaugurated in 1960, the main terminal was designed during the government of President Velasco Ibarra. The present terminal and concourses (A, B and C) were refurbished in 2003, consisting of several taxiways, maintenance platforms, parking areas, a cellar, passenger halls, Mezzanine areas and other amenities. Terminal B consisted of two floors; the lower level holds the departures area with executive waiting rooms and restaurants, and the upper level consists of airline and airport offices.

The airport had 10 gates, 5 with Jet bridges and 5 with stairs.

TAME's main hub

On 10 December 2000, TAME officially opened its hub in Quito, offering an estimated 2,000 possible connections per week, including greater numbers of frequencies, schedules and destinations served. Connections between domestic and international destinations were operated directly and through code sharing agreements with airlines such as TACA Airlines and Copa Airlines.

Operations out of Quito allowed travelers to connect between domestic destinations (such as Guayaquil to Galápagos), from a domestic destination to an international destination (Such as Tena to Cali), from an international destination to a domestic city (Such as Cali to Tulcán), between two international destinations (Such as Bogota to Panama City) and allows for simpler codeshare connections (such as Lima to Santa Rosa with TACA Airlines and TAME).

The hub also featured facilities for easier transits, such as exclusive check-in counters for travelers in transit, buses for internal transportation between Terminals A & B, and two special lounges for national and international transit passengers to avoid having to go through Ecuadorian customs and immigration between transits.

TAME's hub transferred to Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Tababela in February 19, 2013.


The airport consisted of one terminal split into a national and international areas. It was equipped with five swing gates capable of directing arriving passengers to either Immigration or to baggage claim. In addition, there were numerous ground slots where passengers walked to the aircraft from the terminal.

Passenger services

VIP lounges

Mariscal Sucre Airport had 4 VIP Salons in the terminals A and B. For passengers of AeroGal, there was an exclusive salon near gate 2,"AeroGal VIP Club". Passengers of TAME had access to the "TAME" VIP Lounge in terminal B, a lounge that was exclusively for first and business class passengers. This area was nominated as the best VIP lounge of the year in Ecuador, the "QUIPORT VIP Club", and a lesser VIP Lounge, the "American Airlines Admirals Club" in the gate 10.


Transportation between the airport and city was provided by taxis, tour buses and vans. For security reasons, visitors were recommended to take only those taxis offered by registered companies at the airport Terminal A arrivals area.

Terminals, airlines and destinations

The airlines in bold are operative, the airlines with cursive are operative, but no longer serves Quito.

Domestic Terminal

This terminal served national arrivals and departures, the airlines that served here were:

(Incomplete list)

International Terminal

This terminal served international arrivals and departures, all airlines that served this airport (included defunct), the airlines that served here were:

(Incomplete list)

Cargo airlines and destinations

These destinations were operated from the Cargo Terminal.

Old Airport location within the city, spotted from a KLM MD-11 on approach to the new Quito International Airport

Accidents and incidents


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