Home » Panama’s Focus on Air Travel as Key Driver of Tourism

Panama’s Focus on Air Travel as Key Driver of Tourism

by Dubaiforum

Panama is placing its bets on air travel to boost tourism, and Copa Airlines is stepping up to the challenge. The president of Copa Airlines, Pedro Heilbron, recently shared that the country is heavily relying on air connections to drive tourism growth. During the General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Dubai, Heilbron revealed that Panama manages around 31 percent of air connections in Latin America.

In 2023, Tocumen International Airport saw a staggering 17.82 million passengers passing through its gates, with 12.83 million utilizing the airport for transfers or connections. This means that a significant portion of travelers could potentially explore Panama during their layovers.

To entice more tourists to discover Panama, Copa Airlines is rolling out its Stop Over program. The initiative allows passengers transiting through Tocumen to opt for a free visit to Panama as a second destination. Since 2019, Copa has managed to attract 320 thousand visitors through this program, with 120 thousand alone in 2023.

In a bid to further boost tourism, Copa Airlines is launching three new routes in June. Travelers can now fly to Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, United States, starting June 21; Florianópolis in Brazil from June 25; and Tulum in Mexico from June 26. Additionally, Copa plans to expand its fleet with five new aircraft by 2025 to enhance connectivity to Argentina and other destinations.

Despite facing competition from other airlines in the region like Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Peru, Copa Airlines remains focused on growth. The airline’s strategy is clear – to continue expanding its routes and fostering connectivity to attract more travelers to Panama.

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