Denver Lands new United Link to Panama City

The new flight will offer travellers in the Denver area with direct access to the Panamanian capital as well as numerous connections to several additional cities in Central and South America through United's strategic partnership with Copa Airlines.

Next year’s Routes Americas host, Denver International Airport has secured a new year-round link to Panama City which will be introduced by United Airlines from December 3, 2014. Subject to government approval, the US major will offer an up to daily schedule on the route, although in September and October frequencies will be reduced to five times weekly. The airline will deploy an 118-seat Boeing 737-700 on the route offering space for 12 passengers in United Business and 106 in United Economy, including 40 Economy Plus extra-legroom seats.

The new flight will offer travellers in the Denver area with direct access to the Panamanian capital as well as numerous connections to several additional cities in Central and South America through United's strategic partnership with Copa Airlines, which is the prominent carrier at Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, often dubbed as ‘The Hub of the Americas’.

"Following the success of our Denver-Tokyo flight, our new service to Panama City will link our Denver business and leisure travelers to the business and finance capital of Central America and open the door to other new, international destinations through our partner airlines," said Steve Jaquith, managing director of United’s Denver hub operation.

United Airlines is Denver's largest airline, offering more flights and more seats from the Mile High City to more destinations around the world than any other carrier. The airline offers more than 375 flights each day from Denver International Airport to more than 10 destinations in Latin America, Canada and Asia – as well as service to major business centers across North America.

"Just as Tokyo opened a gateway to Asia, Panama City will open the Rocky Mountain West to all of South America," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. "United Airlines' decision to begin nonstop flights to Panama City is another major addition to DIA's premier flight service and will strengthen the region's position as a global hub and international competitor. Today nearly 350 people a day travel between Colorado and South America. We anticipate this service will stimulate additional travel, and we already look forward to the increased tourism, cultural and business connections this new service will provide."

Analysis of MIDT shows point-to-point demand between Denver and Panama City hit a ten year high in 2013 when just under 8,000 O&D passengers travelled between the two cities, up 14.2 per cent on the previous year and up 95.9 per cent over the past ten years. But, as Mayor Hancock noted, this route is as much about connection opportunities in the Panamanian capital. In 2013 an estimated 83,000 O&D passengers flew between Denver and destinations across South America with approximately 99,000 more flying to or from destinations in Central America and 116,000 in or out of the Caribbean.

Panama City will be the eighth destination in Central America to be served non-stop from Denver, according to OAG Schedules Analyser. Information for May 2014 shows regular links from Denver to Cancun, Cozumel, Liberia, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose and San Jose Cabo are being offered by Aeromexico, AirTranAirways, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and Volaris this month. However, there are currently no direct flights further south into South America.

In our analysis below we highlight the ten largest O&D markets between Denver and South America in 2013. These destinations account for 79.3 per cent of the estimated 83,000 passengers that flew in or out of the region from or to Denver International Airport last year.   These connecting traffic flows are currently dominated by American Airlines with a 38.2 per cent share, followed by United Airlines (32.1 per cent) and Delta Air Lines (16.2 per cent).