Star Alliance member Copa Airlines is to inaugurate a twice weekly link between its Panama City hub and the Peruvian city of Chiclayo, the first and only international air service into northern Peru. The new service to Captain FAP José Abelardo Quiñones Gonzáles International Airport will commence from June 28, 2016 and will be operated using an Embraer 190 regional jet.
The new route will foster economic development in northern Peru, enhancing opportunities for stronger commercial ties with the American continent and will complement the airline’s existing flights into Lima. It extends the airline’s ‘Hub of the Americas’ operation from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City to 76 cities in 31 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean.
“For the past 17 years, Copa Airlines has offered Peru the best connectivity with North and Central America and the Caribbean through our Hub of the Americas in Panama City, Panama. Today we are pleased to announce our newest Peruvian destination, Chiclayo,” said Pedro Heilbron, chief executive officer, Copa Airlines.
Copa’s passengers originating in Chiclayo will be afforded convenient connections at the ‘Hub of the Americas’ in Panama City to the airline’s 12 destinations in the United States, six in Mexico, and major cities of Central America, the northern region of South America, and the Caribbean.
“Copa’s new flight will increase opportunities for tourism and business in the northern part of the country, especially in Chiclayo and nearby cities,” added Heilbron. The city is currently only served from Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport with multiple daily flights from LAN Airlines and LC Peru. Over the past decade there were also domestic links provided to Piura, Tarapoto and Trujillo but these have all now ceased.
Located almost 500 miles from the Peruvian capital in the northeast part of the country, Chiclayo is Peru’s fourth-largest city and is known as the ‘Capital of Friendship’ because of its hospitable inhabitants. Chiclayo offers a wealth of tourist attractions, from historical, cultural, and religious sites, to delicious cuisine, to nearby beaches and spas.
A popular vacation destination, Chiclayo is the site of recent major architectural discoveries, including the treasure-laden tomb of the Lord of Sipán, a Moche royal who ruled 1,500 years ago. Other attractions include the Túcume pyramids, the ornate Municipal Palace, the cathedral and the Modelo Market with its Witch Doctors Market featuring articles used by shaman healers. Nearby are the Pómac Forest Historical Sanctuary, the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve and Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge, protected areas that preserve the biodiversity of the dry forests and native and endangered species.
Copa Airlines currently operates an average of 315 daily departures and arrivals through its Hub of the Americas operation at Tocumen International Airport, offering the most international flights of any airport across all of Latin America.
The new link to Chiclayo continues a recent strategy from Copa to introduce routes into secondary markets. It announced earlier this year that it would launch twice weekly service to Frank País International Airport in Holguin, Cuba from June 21, 2016, while earlier this month it announced a four times weekly link to Rosario, Argentina, would commence from July 1, 2016.
The airline has over 20 years’ experience in the Cuban market and has served Argentina for more than 16 years. However, it is only now delving into second tier destinations such as Rosario, the country’s third-largest city by population and located in Santa Fe Province located in the eastern central part of the country.
The province is considered the Cradle of the Argentine Flag and is the birthplace of several well-known national figures including football star Lionel Messi and the Latin American political leader and revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara.
“We are particularly proud to announce Rosario as the latest addition to our route network, which will enhance Argentina’s connectivity with Panama, South and Central America and the Caribbean through our Hub of the Americas in Panama City,” said Heilbron. “This new flight offers increased opportunities for the growth and development of local trade and tourism, and will contribute to job creation for the people of Rosario.”
Santa Fe Province is known for its tourist attractions including guided river tours of Rosario, beautiful beaches, lush green areas, cuisine and culture, as well as a wide range of leisure activities in the city. Rosario is also an important economic, education, finance, entertainment and agriculture centre, forming part of the country’s agrarian triangle with Pergamino and Venado Tuerto.