In the News from Panama

Copa Unveils Launch of ‘Max Era’

Image Courtesy: Agencia EFE 

Fast-growing Copa Airlines has officially announced the start of service for its first Boeing 737 MAX 9, one of the most modern and sophisticated planes in the air.

Copa says the arrival of the new plane is the start of the “Max Era” in its history.

“The MAX 9 represents a new standard for air travel that prioritizes comfort, convenience, and sustainability as three discerning qualities that elevate the level of Copa’s daily world-class service,” Copa said in a release.

This is great news for anyone traveling to Panama, as Copa improves its service and expands it routes, making it easier and easier to get here from anywhere in the world. Copa’s fleet is one of the “industry’s youngest and most modern,” ensuring that most passengers are flying on modern jets, the airlines notes.

The Max 9 has more seats than older 737s and 50 percent larger overhead compartments, the airline says. It will also reduce fuel consumption by 14 percent. The “Executive Business Class Dreams” section will include 16 “lie-flat” seats, each with a 16-inch touchscreen, USB connection and “twice as much space for storing personal items.”

“Select routes for Dreams passengers will include a new premium kit consisting of noise-canceling headphones, larger pillows, and blankets of high-quality fabrics,” according to the airlines’ release.

Copa Airlines is also introducing a new section called “Economy Extra,” which offers more leg room, USB inputs, and priority boarding.

“Having this technology in the country is a great opportunity to continue fostering Panamanian talent meeting the highest worldwide standards. In addition, we expect that for each airplane that we add to our network, 90 new jobs will be generated, so the addition of these modern aircraft benefit Copa Airlines passengers as well as the development of the Panamanian labor market,” Copa CEO Pedro Heilbron said in the statement.

Copa expects to receive four more Max 9s before the end of the year, eight in 2019 and nine 2020. Copa has ordered a total of 71 of the Boeing Max 9s.

The planes initially will be used on the longest routes, including service to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa. Future destinations for the plane include Boston, Las Vegas, Havana, and Cancun.

The new planes will fit nicely with the Foster + Partners-designed terminal at Tocumen International Airport, which is expected to open by the end of the year.