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Copa Airlines inaugurates 3rd SJ-Panama daily flight

Copa Airlines is increasing its capacity by 35 percent with the addition of its new daily flight.

Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., will inaugurate today its third flight between Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and its hub in Panama, just in time for summer vacation travel.

“The third flight arrives in time for the vacation season in Puerto Rico, allowing the local travelers to make their plans to get to know Central and South America much better,” said Hector Busquets, CEO of Copa Airlines in Puerto Rico. “In addition, the third frequency gives greater flexibility to our business travelers to keep their busy schedule of meetings and other important matters.”

Flight 169 will depart San Juan daily at 12:46 p.m. and arrive in Panama at a las 2:36 p.m.  The return flight will depart Panama at 8 a.m. and arrive in San Juan at 11:50 a.m. With three daily flights, Copa Airlines is the carrier that best connects San Juan with destinations in Central and South America, through its so-called Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama, company officials said.

By adding a third daily flight, Copa Airlines will increase its capacity by 35 percent. It is estimated that this new service will attract 34,000 visitors to Puerto Rico a year, pumping more than $20 million into the local economy, Economic Development and Commerce Secretary José Pérez-Riera said.

“The creation of this new Copa Airlines flight to Panama is further proof of the strengthening Puerto Rico’s tourism industry has been showing. The versatility in air access capacity that we offer our visitors is essential to make the arrival of more tourists to the island possible, mainly from Latin American countries now revealing growing economies,” Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Executive Director Luis Rivera-Marín said.

“This is an excellent opportunity to highlight that the relationship that has been established between Copa Airlines and Puerto Rico contributes positively to our efforts to position the island as an ideal Caribbean destination,” he added.

Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab hands over a replica of an alliance airplane to Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron, to mark the carrier’s integration into global network.

Copa joins ‘Star Alliance’
In related news, Copa officials announced Thursday the carrier officially joined “Star Alliance,” the largest and most important global airline network.

Copa Airlines’ entry into “Star Alliance” provides its passengers access to 64 destinations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean through its Panama hub, increasing travel options and connectivity, the company said.

“Joining Star Alliance is an accomplishment for our company.  We are proud to become part of the largest and most prestigious global airline network and to draw the world’s attention to the Isthmus of Panama,” said Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron. “In addition, Copa will provide frequent flyers around the world with more benefits and travel options throughout the Latin American region, making it easier for them to connect through Tocumen Airport and visit our country.”

Through Star Alliance, Copa Airlines passengers have access to more than 1,356 destinations in 193 countries, with more than 21,500 daily flights and 990 VIP lounges at airports worldwide.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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