Panama's Copa Airlines is adding three new destinations in December – Chicago O'Hare International Airport; Cucuta, Colombia; and Asunción in Paraguay – to bring...

Panama’s Copa Airlines is adding three new destinations in December – Chicago O’Hare International Airport; Cucuta, Colombia; and Asunción in Paraguay – to bring the airline’s total of new destinations in 2011 to seven.

In addition, the airline announced it will expand operations at its Hub of the Americas in Panama City, Panama, on June 15, growing from four to six connecting banks, providing passengers with greater flight options, better schedules and more service frequencies.

Additionally, Copa Airlines begins service this month to Toronto, Canada; Porto Alegre and Brasilia, Brazil; and Nassau in the Bahamas.

“Copa Airlines is one of the most successful and fastest-growing airlines worldwide. We have a long record of steady and profitable growth, having established our position as a leader in Latin American aviation by providing the best connectivity in the region, and superior operational performance and customer service,” says Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines and its parent Copa Holdings.  “Our success has benefitted Latin America, promoting business and stimulating tourism, creating jobs in Panama and throughout the region.”

Copa Airlines operates a large and quickly growing fleet of Boeing 737NGs and Embraer 190s. The first 737NG model in the airline's fleet was the 737-700, one of which is shown here taking off on a test flight from either Renton or Boeing Field, but Copa Airlines has come increasingly to rely on the 737-800 as the mainstay of its fleet and all its future 737 orders for for 737-800s. Copa Airlines and its subsidiary Copa Airlines Colombia also operate a fleet of Embraer 190s

Operating from its “Hub of the Americas” at Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, Copa Airlines says it offers the most international flights and destinations within Latin America of any hub on the continent and expects to increase capacity by approximately 20 per cent in 2011. By the end of 2011, Copa will serve 57 destinations in 28 countries.

The airline’s expansion plans also include the delivery of 23 new aircraft in the next two years.  Company estimates indicate that for every aircraft added to its fleet, approximately 100 direct jobs are created.

In 2011 alone, with the delivery of 10 aircraft, the company says it will generate more than 1,000 jobs, including pilots, technicians, crew and administrative personnel. Copa is the largest private-sector employer in Panama.

Copa Airlines begins daily service in December 2011 from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), as well as four-times-weekly service to Cucuta, Colombia’s Camilo Dazo Airport (CUC); and four-times-weekly service to Asunción, Paraguay’s Silvio Pettirossi Airport (ASU).

Cucuta is a business and service center located near the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Asunción, the capital and largest city of Paraguay, attracts business travelers and tourists for its port and its cultural attractions.

Copa Airlines says that, with the addition of the flight to Asunción, the carrier will connect all Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.

The airline’s schedule between Panama City and Chicago O’Hare will see its daily Boeing 737-700 flight leaving PTY at 6:34 p.m. and landing at ORD at 11:06 p.m local time. In the other direction, Copa’s flight will depart ORD at 8:09 a.m. and touch down at PTY at 2:28 p.m. local time.

Copa’s four-times-weekly Panama City-Cucuta flight, operated by an Embraer 190, is timed to depart PTY at 6:54 p.m. and to reach CUC at 8:30 p.m. (Both airports are in the same time zone.) In the other direction, Copa’s flight will leave CUC at 6:39 a.m. and land at PTY at 8:20 a.m.

The airline’s four-times-weekly Boeing 737-700 flight between Panama City and Asunción is scheduled to push back from the gate at PTY at 3:20 p.m. and arrive at ASU at 10:24 p.m. local time. In the other direction, Copa’s flight will leave ASU at 1:27a.m. in order to make a 6:44 a.m. arrival at PTY, local time.

From June 15, Copa is also increasing service frequencies on its routes from Tocumen International Airport to Lima, Peru, from four round-trips each day to five; to Orlando, Florida, with flight frequency increasing from twice daily to three times a day; to Miami, rising from three-times-daily to four; to Bogotá, Colombia, with flights increasing from five times a day to six; and to Santiago, Chile, with Copa increasing its schedule from two daily round-trips to three.

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