Copa Airlines Confirms Three New Routes for 2014

After handling more than eleven million passengers in 2013 and increasing its seat capacity by 14 per cent, Copa Airlines has announced plans to grow further in 2014 and introduce three more international destinations to its network with new links from its Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama to Georgetown, Guyana; Fort Lauderdale, USA and Montreal, Canada. This growth will increase its schedule to 69 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The new routes will strengthen Copa’s position in the regional market and will provide enhanced connectivity between markets across the Americas and will be facilitated by the arrival of an additional eight new Boeing 737-800s in 2014 bringing its total fleet to 98 aircraft and boosting seat capacity by a further ten per cent this year.

“Our sustained growth in recent years has allowed us to reinforce our leadership in the region and to continue the Hub of the Americas’ position as the most successful and efficient hub for travel to and from, as well as within, Latin America,” said Pedro Heilbron, chief executive officer, Copa Airlines. “Our success has benefited Latin America, and has stimulated business and the creation of new jobs and investment in Panama.”

As part of its effort to increase its route network in the northern part of the continent, Copa will offer four-times-weekly flights to the city of Montreal, operated using a Boeing 737-800. The new service will commence on June 3, 2014 and will be Copa’s second Canadian destination following the introduction of flights to Toronto in June 2011. This will be the first year-round offering between Panama City and Montreal, although Air Transat has offered a twice weekly seasonal link the past two winters.

The airline’s new link to Fort Lauderdale will launch on July 11, 2014, subject to regulatory approval, and will be operated four times weekly using an Embraer 190. The coastal region, with its booming tourism industry and growing Latin American population, will be Copa’s fourth destination in the state of Florida and its 10th in the US.

This route has been served by US low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines since February 2008 but Copa expects to generate significant transfer traffic through its hub operation, allowing it to compete with the budget carrier. An estimated 36,000 bi-directional O&D passengers travelled on the route in 2013.

Copa’s third new link for 2014 will be a twice weekly link to Georgetown, the capital and principal city of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, and will also begin from July 11, 2014. It will be Copa’s first to the South American country. An estimated 9,000 bi-directional O&D passengers flew between Georgetown and destinations across Central and South America in 2013.

The network growth follows a successful 2013 for Copa in which passenger numbers were increased to 11.3 million. The airline received seven new 737-800s during the year and increased seat capacity by 14 per cent. This enabled it to launch new routes to the US - Boston, Massachusetts and Tampa Bay, Florida and introduce 13 additional flight frequencies to key destinations across its network.

Copa has managed to successfully grow by establishing a hub-and-spoke model and enabling to support the point-to-point demand to and from Panama City by providing connection opportunities within the Americas. In the table below we look in greater detail at the largest O&D markets from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City in 2013 and how this compares with the previous year.

TOP 20 LARGEST O&D MARKETS FROM PANAMA CITY (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2013)

Rank

Destination

Estimated Passengers

% Total Demand

% Change (vs 2012)

1

Bogota (BOG)

295,920

9.2 %

15.1 %

2

Miami (MIA)

204,649

6.4 %

15.5 %

3

Caracas (CCS)

198,590

6.2 %

(-8.0) %

4

San Jose (SJO)

109,820

3.4 %

-25.0 %

5

Medellin (MDE)

107,703

3.4 %

(-4.4) %

6

Mexico City (MEX)

100,216

3.1 %

3.7 %

7

Cali (CLO)

79,672

2.5 %

10.4 %

8

Guayaquil (GYE)

79,123

2.5 %

13.7 %

9

Guatemala City (GUA)

64,121

2.0 %

-14.8 %

10

Los Angeles (LAX)

60,540

1.9 %

23.2 %

11

Lima (LIM)

57,863

1.8 %

(-5.8) %

12

Orlando (MCO)

54,543

1.7 %

28.5 %

13

Cancun (CUN)

52,690

1.6 %

10.6 %

14

Madrid (MAD)

50,502

1.6 %

32.8 %

15

Newark (EWR)

50,316

1.6 %

(-5.3) %

16

Santiago (SCL)

49,858

1.6 %

(-1.7) %

17

Buenos Aires (EZE)

49,634

1.6 %

0.9 %

18

Houston (IAH)

49,271

1.5 %

(-2.0) %

19

Quito (UIO)

47,035

1.5 %

(-4.7) %

20

Managua (MGA)

46,516

1.5 %

23.1 %


The route development forum for the Americas
Indianapolis, Indiana  4 - 6 February 2020

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