The FINANCIAL — Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, SA, and member of the global Star Alliance network, began nonstop flights on December 12 between Panama City and Denver, marking its 13th destination in the United States.
The new nonstop flight connects Coloradoans to more than 55 destinations in Latin America through Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama, and creates great opportunities for tourism and trade for Panama and the Latin American region in general.
Copa, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, will have its new flight CM 477 depart Denver on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:16 p.m., arriving at the Hub of the Americas in Panama at 6:02 a.m. the following morning. The return flight, CM 476, will depart Panama on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11:50 a.m., arriving in Denver at 4:03 p.m. All times are local; flight time is approximately 5½-hours. The flight will be operated with a Boeing 737-800 Next- Generation aircraft, with seating capacity for 16 passengers in Business Class and 138 in the main cabin, according to Denver International Airport.
“Our new route to Denver demonstrates the Hub of the Americas’ continued leadership position among airline hubs in Latin America,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines. “Denver is our 13th U.S. destination and will allow passengers to make convenient connections to more than 55 destinations throughout Latin America. Denver is a flourishing mecca of progress in the U.S. and Panama is a nucleus of travel and commerce for Central and South America and the Caribbean. Uniting the two cities through this route will undoubtedly boost tourism and economic development between Colorado, Panama and the rest of the region.”
Through the Hub of the Americas in Panama City, travelers can connect hassle-free to cities such as San José, Costa Rica; Lima, Peru; Bogotá, Medellín and Cali, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and seven cities in Brazil including Sao Paulo, among others in Latin America. Additionally, Copa’s partnership with United Airlines offers customers convenient connections through codeshares to 43 U.S. markets beyond Denver including Albuquerque, New Mexico; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Omaha, Nebraska; Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona.
“Copa’s new nonstop flight to Panama will greatly increase connectivity by providing DEN passengers more options than ever before to explore Central and South America,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “And for those traveling to Denver from Panama, the flight will provide easy access to all of North America through an expansive network with Copa’s Star Alliance partners.”
There has been a demand for a convenient, nonstop travel option to Panama. Around four million people live within a one-hour drive from Denver International Airport, and more than 30 passengers a day fly between Denver and Panama, but previously there had been no nonstop air service between the two cities. Demand in Denver for travel to Central and South America nears 700 per day.
The new nonstop airline service is the first benefit of a new Friendship City agreement between Denver, Colorado and Panama City. The Friendship City agreement was established because of the strong interest to deepen the educational, economic and governmental ties between Denver and Panama City, and ultimately honors a long-term commitment to promote culture and commerce.
“Copa’s nonstop flight to Panama City will generate an annual impact of more than $26 million and create 250 new jobs in metro Denver,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “We also look forward to further building on the Friendship City agreement we established during my visit to Panama in June. This relationship will help us to boost trade and tourism between Denver and Panama, providing further support for this new flight.”