Copa Airlines continues to expand its network as passengers worldwide become interested in visiting Panama. On January 15, the airline announced the launch of nonstop flights to three new destinations: Florianópolis (FLN), Tulum (TQO), and Raleigh/Durham (RDU). These destinations will be Copa Airlines' seventh in Brazil, fifth in Mexico, and 16th in the U.S., respectively. Panama's flag carrier will now serve 85 destinations in 32 countries across the Americas.
Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, said about the airline's expanded international network:
“We remain steadfast in our purpose to shorten distances and facilitate connections, allowing Panama to continue being the bridge that united thousands of people throughout the continent, while contributing to the economic development of the communities where we operate. This strategic expansion not only promotes cultural exchange in the region but also encourages and deepens tourism and business ties in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil. It also opens up the opportunity for more tourists to enjoy the wonders of Panama through the Panama Stopover program.”
Nonstop Flights to Raleigh/Durham
Panama is a popular destination for travelers based in the U.S. and Canada due to its warm weather and relatively short distance. Its main attractions include the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo in Panama City, and beaches in Bocas del Toro. Panama's small size makes it a good destination for anyone interested in a short international vacation. Copa Airlines has recognized this demand by adding direct flights to a new U.S. state: North Carolina.
Copa Airlines will launch nonstop flights between Panama City (PTY) and Raleigh/Durham on June 21. The carrier will offer flights four times weekly using its Boeing 737-800 fleet. The aircraft can accommodate 154 or 160 passengers across two cabin classes, depending on the configuration. Versions A and B have 144 and 138 seats in economy class, respectively. Both configurations have 16 seats in business class.
The flight will depart from PTY at 8:56 a.m. and arrive at RDU at 2:28 p.m. local time. The return flight will leave RDU at 4:20 p.m. and land at PTY at 7:46 p.m. local time. The airline will operate this service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Aside from tourism, nonstop flights between Panama City and Raleigh/Durham can enhance international trade and improve both economies. Raleigh and Durham are in the Research Triangle, a region known for industries like higher education, technology, and life sciences. Students at local universities, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, will benefit from easier access to Panama for study abroad programs. Meanwhile, businesses based in North Carolina can more effectively establish operations in Panama or send employees to the country for business trips and vice versa.
Which Other U.S. and Canadian Cities Have Nonstop Flights to Panama?
Panama's growing popularity means American and Canadian travelers have many options to visit the country. Besides tourism, Panama's economy relies significantly on financial services and international trade. The country is famous for being a tax haven and the only way for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans without reaching the bottom of South America. In 2022, the U.S. and Canada recorded $12.5 billion and $595.3 million in bilateral trade with Panama, respectively.
Copa Airlines also serves the following U.S. and Canadian destinations from its Panama City hub:
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Austin (AUS)
- Baltimore (BWI)
- Boston (BOS)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Denver (DEN)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Miami (MIA)
- Montréal (YUL)
- New York (JFK)
- Orlando (MCO)
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Tampa (TPA)
- Toronto (YYZ)
- Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Panama's short distance from major North American cities and its popularity as a travel destination means that American and Canadian carriers also offer nonstop flights. These airlines serve Panama from airports that are major hubs for international traffic to Latin America. These are the airlines and their origin destinations:
- Air Canada from Toronto
- American Airlines from Miami
- Delta Air Lines from Atlanta
- United Airlines from Houston (IAH) and Newark (EWR)
Passengers from Panama who are interested in visiting the U.S. and Canada have the opportunity to visit 18 destinations through direct flights. Meanwhile, Americans and Canadian travelers have easier access to Panama, especially for those needing to escape the cold for a warm-weather destination during the winter.
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