Top Copyright Photo: Copa Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 HP-9901CMP (msn 44161) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945780.
Copa Airlines aircraft slide show:
Copa Airlines has made this announcement:
Copa Airlines on December 18, 2018 commenced twice-weekly service between its Panama City hub and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The arrival was welcomed with the traditional water cannon salute at the Aeropuerto Internacional Gustavo Díaz Ordaz in Puerto Vallarta.
Copa Airlines flies to 80 destinations in 32 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean, through the Hub of the Americas in Panama City.
All images by the airline.
United Airlines today announced it has reached an agreement with Compañía Panameña de Aviación S.A. (Copa Airlines), Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and many of Avianca’s affiliates, for a joint business agreement (JBA) that, pending government approval, is expected to provide substantial benefits for customers, communities and the marketplace for air travel between the United States and 19 countries in Central and South America.
Many more choices for customers
By integrating their complementary route networks into a collaborative revenue-sharing JBA, United, Avianca and Copa plan to offer customers many benefits, including:
Drive economic benefits for consumers and the communities we serve
The carriers expect the JBA to drive significant traffic growth at major gateway cities coast to coast, which is expected to help bring new investment and create more economic development opportunities. Further, the JBA is expected to provide customers with expanded codeshare flight options, competitive fares, a more streamlined travel experience and better customer service, resulting in significant projected consumer benefits.
Better serve our customers
Additionally, allowing the three carriers to serve customers as if they were a single airline is expected to enable the companies to better align their frequent flyer programs, coordinate flight schedules and improve airport facilities.
“This agreement represents the next chapter in U.S.-Latin American air travel,” said Scott Kirby, United’s president. “We are excited to work with our Star Alliance partners Avianca and Copa to bring much-needed competition and growth to many underserved markets while providing a better overall experience for business and leisure customers traveling across the Western Hemisphere.”
“We are delighted to further solidify our existing partnership with United Airlines and look forward to increasing service options for our customers by working more closely with Avianca,” said Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines’ chief executive officer. “We believe this agreement benefits our passengers by providing competitive fares and a superior network of more than 275 destinations throughout Latin America and the U.S., and promotes further growth and innovation within the airline industry in the Americas.”
“We are certain that together we are stronger in the United States – Latin America market than any of the three airlines individually,” said Hernan Rincon, Avianca’s executive president – chief executive officer. “This partnership will allow Avianca to strengthen its position as a first-level player in the airline industry in America as we will expand our scope in the continent with United and Copa, offering better connectivity to our customers.”
JBAs drive competition that benefits customers
Although JBAs have been proven around the world to benefit consumers and enhance competition, currently 99 percent of the U.S. carrier passenger traffic that makes connections in Central and South America does so without a JBA. Competition in the U.S.-Latin American market has grown and includes a diverse set of carriers offering service across multiple price points. Yet the market lacks a comprehensive revenue-sharing, metal-neutral network of carriers and the associated heightened competitive forces that drive value and better consumer experiences. The JBA represents an innovative, best-in-class new product offering that will make competition in this robust market even stronger.
“Our analysis shows that a metal-neutral JBA among United, Copa and Avianca will provide substantial benefits to consumers traveling between the relevant countries,” said Dr. Darin Lee, executive vice president of economic consulting firm Compass Lexecon and airline industry expert. “This JBA will enable United, Copa and Avianca to compete more effectively, offer competitive fares, and increase service, encouraging innovation and establishing a more robust and vibrant marketplace.”
To enable the deep coordination required to deliver these benefits to consumers, communities and the marketplace, United, Copa and Avianca plan to apply in the near term for regulatory approval of the JBA and an accompanying grant of antitrust immunity from the U.S. Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies. The parties do not plan on fully implementing the JBA until they receive the necessary government approvals. The JBA currently includes cooperation between the U.S. and Central and South America, excluding Brazil. With the recently concluded Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and Brazil, the carriers are exploring the possibility of adding Brazil to the JBA.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airlines): United Airlines Boeing 777-224 ER N78017 (msn 31679) (Star Alliance) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 944609.
United aircraft slide show (Boeing):
Copa Airlines on September 20, 2018 put its new Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 (above) into revenue service.
The first route from the Panama City hub was to Tampa.
The new type was introduced to San Francisco (pictured top) came the next day on September 21.
The airline issued this statement:
Copa Airlines, subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S. A., and member of the global Star Alliance network, began its new MAX Era with the first commercial flight of its modern Boeing MAX 9, which departed September 20 from the Tocumen International Airport in Panama to Tampa, United States (below).
The passengers aboard this flight were the first to experience the comfort, convenience and sustainability of the MAX 9, which elevates the airline’s daily world-class service.
“This first flight marks the beginning of a new era for Copa Airlines. We are very proud to have the latest Boeing technology available to our passengers. The MAX 9 means more efficiency in our operations and greater comfort for our passengers, but, above all, it represents a symbol of development and growth that motivates us to continue innovating and promote Panama as a powerhouse of the industry,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines.
The inaugural flight of Copa Airlines’ MAX 9 was the focus of an event held at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, honoring Copa’s new MAX Era. The celebration featured the participation of company executives as well as government officials.
Flight CM393, which departed Panama at 9:10 a.m. and arrived at the Tampa International Airport at 1:35 p.m. (local time), where the vessel was greeted with a traditional water salute. After a ceremony with airport authorities and Copa Airlines executives, flight CM394 departed from Tampa at 3:24 p.m., arriving at the Tocumen International Airport at 5:48 p.m. (local time).
“The MAX 9 embodies Copa Airlines’ commitment to continuously improve, seeking to offer our passengers a more comfortable and convenient flight experience. We are proud to have one of the most modern aircraft in the industry as part of our fleet, which will allow us to be more efficient, more environmentally friendly and transport more passengers to our farthest destinations,” said Pedro Herrera, Copa Airlines Director of Flight Operations.
The MAX 9’s first commercial flight allowed its passengers to enjoy for the first time the new and modern Business Class Dreams, with 16 lie-flat seats. Each seat has a 16-inch touch screen with remote control power and USB connectors, and two compartments for storing personal items.
Passengers aboard the new Economy Extra and Economy class enjoyed a renewed experience thanks to newly redesigned modern and stylish Meridian seats, power connectors and USB ports, as well as compartments for storing personal items. In addition, Economy Extra passengers will benefit from more legroom and priority status when boarding their flight.
In addition to the comfort and convenience offered by the MAX 9, sustainability is another differentiating factor of this aircraft, thanks to the incorporation of the most advanced and silent engine in the world, the LEAP-1B, and aerodynamically updated AT winglets (located at the ends of wings), which improve fuel consumption by 14% and reduce emission of polluting gases by 50%.
The new MAX 9, officially presented on September 18 in Panama, is the first of the five aircraft of its class that the airline will receive between October and December of this year, which will operate on the airline’s longest routes starting with San Francisco in December 2019.
The pictured HP-9901CMP was delivered on August 31, 2018.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by Copa Airlines): Copa Airlines Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 HP-9901CMP (msn 44161) SFO (Mark Durbin). Image: 943609.
Copa Airlines aircraft slide show:
Copa Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 737-9 MAX 9 (HP-9901CMP, msn 44161).
The new type arrived at the Panama City base on August 31, 2018.
Previously Boeing and Copa Airlines finalized an order for 61 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 airplanes.
Copa Airlines will use the 737 MAX aircraft to replace existing airplanes and support the carrier’s plans for strategic growth.
Copa Airlines and Boeing have announced an order for 15 737 MAX 10s at the 2017 Paris Airshow. With this announcement, Copa is one of the launch customers for the 737 MAX 10 airplane and will be the first airline in Latin America to operate the newest addition to the 737 MAX family.
This order is a conversion from a previous order of 737 MAX aircraft.
Copa Airlines will use the airplanes to replace existing airplanes and support the carrier’s plans for strategic growth. Copa will be the first airline in the region to operate the 737 MAX on deep South American and North American routes. The 737 MAX 10’s operating economics and passenger comfort are ideally suited to Copa’s route network.
Copa Airlines (Panama City) took delivery of the 100th airplane to join its fleet, a Boeing 737-800 (HP-1852CMP) decorated with a special decal celebrating the airline achieving this important milestone.
The airplane, leased from SMBC Aviation Capital, flew from Seattle to its Panama City home base, where it was welcomed by a special ceremony.
With this new airplane, Copa now has 77 Next-Generation 737s in its fleet. In April, the airline signed an order for 61 737 MAX airplanes.
Copa Airlines allows passengers to make fast and convenient connections to 74 destinations in 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean through its Hub of the Americas in Panama City, the airline hub with the most international connections in Latin America. For the last two consecutive years, FlightStats has recognized Copa as “Best Airline in Latin America” for its on-time performance and quality of service.
Photo: Boeing. Boeing 737-8V3 HP-1852CMP (msn 39968) wears the special “100” logo.