In the News from Panama

More Flights Expected For Panama Pacifico

Copa Airlines has created a new entity to expand the number of flights out Howard International Airport in Panama Pacifico.

The new entity, La Nueva Aerolínea SA, has applied to the Civil Aviation Authority to launch

seven direct weekly flights between Panama Pacifico to Havana (Cuba), Caracas (Venezuela), Lima (Peru), San José (Costa Rica), and the Colombian cities of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Cartagena, Pereira, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta.

The flights will operate under the airline’s low-budget Wingo brand, according to Copa, which offered few details.

“The new airline is in the process of certification before the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA),” Copa said in a statement. “At the moment, [the new entity] has not defined a date or routes with which [the airline] would start operations.”

The continued development of Panama Pacifico as an alternative to Tocumen for low budget airlines is great news for Panama City. For one, it will help grow the tourist market. Beyond that, more in-expensive direct flights to cities around the region is an important driver of the property market, making Panama City an easy connection for millions of people.

Panama Pacifico will make it easier to connect with destinations in western Panama, as well as alleviate some of the traffic concerns at Tocumen International Airport, which is in the midst of a massive expansion.

So far, the results of flights out of Panama Pacifico have been mixed. Budget carrier Viva Colombia dropped flights last year, reportedly due to high fees, according to media coverage.

Wingo is based in Colombia and represents Copa’s effort to create the type of no-frills, a budget airline that is now common around the world. The new flights would likely start with two or four flights per destination and grow from there, the airline says.

Foto Cortesía: Capital Financiero