Bogotá, October 6, 2010. Beginning today, the Colombian airline Aero República will officially be known as Copa Airlines Colombia. This announcement is the result of Aero República’s positive evolution since March 2005 when it was acquired by Copa Airlines and set the goal of going further to become a world-class airline.
Since then, thanks to the support of its investors and the committed efforts of its more than 1,300 partners, Aero República began a true transformation that now positions it as the only airline with a 100% renovated cutting-edge fleet and a market leader in punctuality and service in Colombia. In this process, the company achieved the IOSA certification (through which the IATA accredits high safety standards) and modernized its systems to become a pioneer in offering the newest services to its customers, including e-tickets, web check-in, and telephone check-in.
In these past five years, the company went from being a domestic operator to being the number two international airline in Colombia and the number one from multiple cities from which it directly flies. Aero República initially struck out onto the international flight market by offering direct connectivity from the country’s main cities to Panama, operating daily flights from Bogotá, Medellín, and Cali, and daily or every second day flights from Cartagena, Pereira, Bucaramanga, and Barranquilla. Later, it began operations to other international destinations including Caracas, Quito, Guayaquil, San José, Guatemala, and most recently to Mexico City.
“We are proud to have achieved our goal of transforming the airline and begin to, starting today, take off as Copa Airlines Colombia”, stated Roberto Junguito Pombo, president of the new Copa Airlines Colombia. “This new brand name will be of great help in the international expansion process we have undertaken and will confer even greater advantages to our customers” the chief executive pointed out.
“Our change in brand name is possible thanks to the fact that Aero República has reached a level of maturity, efficiency, and modernity that enables it to compete at the level of Copa Airlines and all the other leading airlines in the world. We will strengthen our presence in Colombia and take part in the country’s economic and touristic growth, guaranteeing improved connectivity for the Colombian traveler” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Holdings, during his visit to Bogotá.
Born with a deep knowledge of the domestic market, Copa Airlines Colombia will ground itself in Aero República’s seventeen years of experience and will continue to lead in flights to touristic destinations all over Colombia. For the benefit of our customers, the new brand will bring together the portfolio of destinations and services operated by Aero República and Copa Airlines. Among these destinations is included the Americas Hub in Panama, connecting to 45 destinations all around the world through 160 daily flights throughout North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. Thanks to a standardization of processes and the permits obtained from authorities, the totality of the Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia fleets will be made use of for domestic and international operations. This means stepping up from a fleet of 15 airplanes to a fleet of 60 (63 by the end of 2010), reducing costs and thus improving returns on investments.
The airline will keep Aero República S.A. as its registered corporate name and will continue to be the holder of air traffic rights and the operator of previously authorized routes, though they will be now marketed under the new name Copa Airlines Colombia. The Aero República sales team (now Copa Airlines Colombia) and Copa Airlines will work together in Colombia in order to capitalize on each other’s strengths, achieve greater efficiency in operations, optimize resources, and offer customers and strategic allies the best in service.
Starting today, travelers will have access to more points of sale and to the airline’s leading benefits and services, among which are the world-class OnePass frequent flyer program with miles that never expire and more than Nine hundred destinations all around the world.