COPA AIRLINES – Several flights between Panama and other countries!

Blog by Debra Harwood

1It seems that most airlines these past 10 years have been cutting services left and right. On most airlines you have to buy your food, pay for all checked luggage and at times deal with unpleasant employees. The exception seems to be Copa Airlines.   I have been flying with them for many years and they continue to impress me with their consistent great customer service and on-time flights.

Who here in Boquete was not thrilled when we heard they would start flying into David again? Copa resumed their flights between Panama City and David on January 15th, 2015. They brought the cost down making it much more affordable to fly between Panama City and David. This forced AirPanama to bring their prices down as well. This was a huge win for the travelers! During the short 50 min flight Copa serves you a drink and snack. It’s unheard off in this day and age! On their international flights they not only serve a meal free of charge, they offer beer or wine free of charge as well. I believe some other major airlines could take a lesson from Copa on the importance and need for great customer service.

So I decided to do a little research on Copa Airlines since I not only fly with them I recommend them to my friends as well.

Copa was founded in 1947 by a group of prominent Panamanians investors with the 2assistance of Pan American World Airways. It began domestic operations to three cities in Panama shortly afterwards. The airline then abandoned its domestic flights in 1980, in favor of international flights and at present fly to 75 destinations in 30 countries with their fleet of 105 airplanes. In January 2015 they re-started their domestic routes within Panama.

As of 2013, Copa Airlines employed over 9,000 people, most of them residing in Panama and is one of the fastest growing and largest companies in the country. It is headed by Chief Executive Officer Pedro Heilbron. I say a big thank you to Mr. Heilbron for his excellent management skills!!! Oh and thanks as well for starting the direct flights to Toronto, Canada in 2011. Makes it very convenient for myself, family and friends to travel to Panama. I can now leave my home in Boquete, fly to Panama City, wait a few hours and then take a 5 hour direct flight to Toronto all with Copa. No overnight needed in the city any more!

3In its history Copa Airlines has had only one fatal crash. It happened on June 6, 1992 on a flight from Panama City to Cali, Colombia. The aircraft crashed in the Darien Gap and all 40 passengers and 7 crew were killed. It also has had one hijacking attempt which was on Aug 7, 1994 on a flight bound for Guatemala, this later was reported as a “misunderstanding” by Panamanian authorities.

4In April 2015, the airline announced an order for 61 Boeing 737 MAX 8/9 aircraft worth $6.6 billion at list price. Making an investment of that size shows the confidence that Copa has in going forward.

So when planning your trip to Panama make sure you not only book a stay at the beautiful Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast in Boquete, you as well book Copa Airlines for your travels. I am confident you will be happy you did!!!

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