(November 21, 2017) Four years after becoming the first airline to offer nonstop service between Tampa Bay and Panama City, Copa Airlines, member of the global Star Alliance network, announced today it will increase service to daily flights beginning this upcoming summer.
The expanded service, which is set to begin on July 17, 2018, provides a better and more frequent connection to Central and South America, and continues to build on a route that has already served thousands of passengers since launching in December 2013.
The increase from four days a week to daily service is especially welcome news to the Tampa Bay business community, providing newfound flexibility to business travelers.
“When Copa launched in 2013, Copa CEO Pedro Heilbron made us the promise that together we would build this route to daily service,” said Executive Vice President of Marketing Chris Minner. “Our teams have worked tirelessly to make that happen. We are thrilled about the increased service and what it means for Florida’s west coast residents.”
“Copa Airlines’ base in the Hub of the Americas in Panama continues to offer more international destinations in Latin America than any other hub in the region,” said Heilbron. “Our increase in daily flights helps us not only reinforce our commitment to our passengers’ comfort and convenience, but also better serve both our community of business travelers and leisure travelers in the Tampa Bay area.”
The new Copa flight, CM 394, departs TPA daily at 2:05 p.m., arriving at Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Tocumen International Airport in Panama at 5:34 p.m. Passengers can make convenient connections to destinations such as Guayaquil and Quito in Ecuador, Bogota and Medellin in Colombia, San Jose, Costa Rica, Lima, Peru, among many other major cities in Latin America. The return flight, CM393, departs PTY at 9:20 a.m., arriving in TPA at 12:42 p.m.
Tampa International Airport’s partners at the Greater Tampa Chamber and Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater were integral to supporting this flight over the years.
“We know from past surveys that our business community enthusiastically supports nonstop flights Latin America. A daily connection to Copa’s hub in Panama City will make it easier than ever before for Tampa Bay companies to do business in the region,” said Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.
David Downing, president and CEO of Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, added that the increased service is great for local tourism.
“The increased flight schedule will allow us to continue to grow our Latin American tourism, which has seen tremendous growth since the inaugural flight four years ago,” said Downing.
Copa in 2013 became the first airline to offer nonstop service between Panama and Tampa Bay, a region with strong commercial ties to Panama, numerous corporate headquarters, a growing Hispanic population and several academic institutions popular with Latin American students.
The daily service will be good for the regional economy, with an expected economic impact of $33.8 million annually.
Copa is a key part of Tampa International Airport’s rapidly growing international traffic. Since 2010, TPA’s international passenger traffic has more than doubled, increasing from 196,000 enplanements to 440,000 enplanements.
About Copa Holdings, S.A.
Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading airlines in Latin America for passengers and cargo. The airline currently offers service to more than 70 destinations in 31 countries, in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In the 69 years of uninterrupted operations, Copa has transformed the Hub of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, into the air-transit epicenter of the continent. Copa operates one of the youngest and modern fleets in the industry, consisting of 101 aircrafts: 80 Boeing 737 Next-Generation and 21 Embraer-190. In addition, the company boasts greater than 90% in punctuality, one of the leading quality indicators in the airline industry. Thanks to this on-time record, Copa Airlines has been recognized for a fourth consecutive year by FlightStats as the most punctual airline in Latin America, and by the Official Airline Guide (OAG), for the second consecutive year, as the second most punctual airline in the world in 2016. In the same period, the company was awarded the honor of "Mexico and Central America’s Airline Leader" at the World Travel Awards. In 2016, Copa was also awarded three Skytrax awards for "Best Airline in Central America and the Caribbean,” "Best Airline Cabin Staff in Central America" and "Best Regional Central American Airline.” Copa Airlines is part of Star Alliance, providing guests the possibility to reach 1,330 airports in 192 countries and enjoy more than 18,500 daily flights. In addition, Copa has code-share agreements with United Airlines, Aeromexico, KLM, Lufthansa, Avianca, Iberia, GOL and TAME. To issue and manage reservations, purchase tickets through secure transactions in seven different currencies, manage Web Check-In, print boarding passes and acquire information on immigration requirements and travel policies, please visit www.Copa.com. Also, visit www.ConnectMiles.com to learn more about the benefits of Copa Airlines’ loyalty program, designed especially for its loyal travelers.