Friday, January 21, 2011

Copa Airlines announces 2011 expansion plans: more destinations, new flight frequencies and improved schedules

Source: Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines announces 2011 expansion plans: more destinations, new flight frequencies and improved schedules With the addition of three new destinations as of June 2011, the airline will serve 55 destinations in 27 countries on the American continent, with a total of 180 daily flights from the Hub of the Americas at Tocumen Airport in Panama City, Panama.
Copa Airlines will generate more than 1,000 new jobs in 2011, to include pilots, technicians, crew and management.

From left to right:
Moises Veliz, Government Relations VicePresident; Rafaél Bárcenas, General Director of Civil Aviation Authority of Panama; Pedro Heilbron, Executive President of Copa Airlines; Juan Carlos Pino, General Manager of Tocumen International Airport; Ada Romero Monico, General Director of MITRADEL; Victor Vial, CFO Copa Airlines.

PANAMA, January 20, 2011--Copa Airlines, subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A. {NYSE: CPA} announced today that as of June 2011 it will increase daily flight frequencies to several countries in its extensive route network, offer more convenient schedules and begin service to three new destinations: Toronto, Canada; Porto Alegre, Brazil; and Nassau, Bahamas.

The new flights and increased frequencies reinforce Copa's major role in the development of the Panamanian economy; the ambitious expansion plan will generate direct and indirect contributions to the local economy.

"Thanks to these new destinations and the increase in frequencies from our Hub of the Americas in Panama City, Copa Airlines continues to expand its coverage and reaffirm its leadership in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Pedro Heilbron, CEO. "Copa offers flights to more international destinations than any other airline from any other hub in the region."

"The Hub of the Americas continues to be the most efficient and convenient connection point on the continent," Heilbron added. "The increase in flight frequencies will allow us to significantly improve our daily arrival and departure schedules to offer better connectivity, more flight options and more frequent connections throughout the day - in fact, up to six connections for some markets."

In 2010 Copa Airlines transported more than 5.2 million passengers via the region's most complete route network through the Hub of the Americas. The airline's on-time performance of greater than 90 percent (measured by industry standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation), puts the airline in a leadership position in Latin America and among the best in the world. The arrival of 10 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft this year will signal even greater growth. The airline will generate more than 1,000 jobs, including pilots, technicians, crew and management, and Copa will continue its expansion and contributions to the development of business and tourism in Panama and Latin America.

More and Better Schedules, Flight Frequencies for Business Travellers
Copa Airlines' transition as of June 15 from a four-bank operational system to six banks (groups of connecting schedules) will allow the airline to better utilize Tocumen Airport's existing infrastructure as well as offer passengers more and better scheduling options.

As of that date, the Hub of the Americas at Tocumen Airport will add to its existing flight banks (two in the morning and two in the afternoon) with a group of early-morning departures - ideal for travelers who want to arrive at their destination early in the day- and afternoon departures to take advantage of airport down time.

These operational changes also translate to significant improvements in Copa Airlines' flight schedules to major destinations on the American continent, such as New York's JFK Airport and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., as well as to South America's principal cities.

Opportunities for connection will increase throughout Copa's extensive route network as well, resulting in shorter connecting times, giving the Panamanian airline a firm foothold as the best choice for connectivity and convenient travel schedules.

In addition to the four-times-a-week flights to its three new destinations, Toronto, Porto Alegre and Nassau, Copa will increase frequencies on the following flights:

Destinations from Panama Daily flights
In 2010 as of June 2011
Lima, Peru
Orlando, Florida
Miami, Florida
Bogota, Colombia 5 6
Santiago Chile 2 3

In operation for more than six decades, the Panamanian airline will offer a total of 180 daily flights from the Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport to 55 destinations in 27 countries in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. The airline will continue to strengthen Panama City as a business center and tourist destination and to improve Panama's connectivity with the rest of the world.

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