In the News from Panama

Tocumen On Pace for Record Year

Panama’s international airport will handle a record amount of visitors in 2023, even with the disruptions caused by the recent mining protests, airport officials announced this week.

From January to November, more than 16.2 million people flew through Tocumen International Airport, an increase of 13.2% compared to the 14.3 million passengers in the same period of 2022. In November, the number of passengers who traveled through the Panamanian terminal increased by 10.3% to reach 1.5 million people, compared to the 1.3 million transported in the same month last year.

By the end of the year, the number of passengers should increase to more than 17 million, which would be a record for the airport, Raffoul Arab, general manager of the Tocumen International Airport, told reporters.

The numbers illustrate the strength of business and tourism in Panama, which continue to grow at a region-leading pace. It is also a recovery story, as traffic flows surpass pre-pandemic levels.

Traffic through Tocumen for the first 11 months of 2023 equaled the historical passenger record of 2019, Arab said.

Part of the uptick can be attributed to the beautiful second terminal, which opened last year. More than 10 million passengers went through the new terminal so far in 2023. According to the airport agency, the markets generating the most traffic through Tocumen in November were South America with 46%, followed by North America with 27%, the Caribbean, with 12%, and European markets with 4%.

At this point 31 airlines operate at the Tocumen International Airport — 15 cargo airlines and 17 passenger airlines, according to the new government report. In addition to Copa Airlines’ continued expansion, Air Canada, Cayman Airlines, and Turkish Airlines expanded their networks through Tocumen.

As of November, Tocumen served 87 international destinations in the Americas and Europe.