"Our daily nonstop service will facilitate access between Chicago and Panama, two major business and tourism centers, as well as increase Chicagoans' connectivity to destinations throughout Latin America," said Pedro Heilbron, CEO, Copa Airlines. "In Panama, passengers will be able to connect to other Latin American business and leisure markets. Our new Chicago flight, an important part of Copa's ambitious expansion plan, will offer the fastest and most direct way to fly from Chicago to Santiago, Chile; to Cali, Barranquilla, Medellin and Bogotá, Colombia; and to many other destinations in Latin America."
The flight will depart Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 8:09 a.m., arriving at Copa's Hub of the Americas in Tocumen International Airport in Panama City at 2:28 p.m. The return flight will depart Panama at 6:34 p.m., arriving in Chicago at 11:06 p.m. Copa will operate a Boeing 737-700 Next-Generation aircraft on the flight, with seating for 12 passengers in Business Class and 112 in the main cabin.
From the Hub of the Americas, Copa Airlines offers flights to more international destinations than any other airline from any other hub in the Latin American region. Passengers can make convenient connections to destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, without customs/immigration waits for in-transit passengers.
Copa's on-board service includes complimentary meals and beverages, including wines and spirits; a 12-channel audio-visual entertainment system in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with new movies monthly and complimentary headsets. Flight attendants are bilingual.
The airline operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry and its on-time performance of more than 90 percent is among the best worldwide. Passengers may purchase tickets at copaair.com in U.S. dollars, as well as nine other currencies and can earn rewards through the OnePass frequent-flyer program shared with alliance partner United-Continental. Copa Airlines will join Star Alliance, the world's largest global alliance, in April 2012.
Copa expansion plans announced today include the addition of two other destinations in December (Cucuta, Colombia; and Asuncion, Paraguay), bringing the airline's total of new destinations in 2011 to seven. Copa begins service this month to Toronto, Canada, its first Canadian destination, as well as Porto Alegre and Brasilia, Brazil, and Nassau, Bahamas. In addition, the airline announced it will expand operations at its Hub of the Americas on June 15, growing from four to six connecting banks, providing passengers with more flight options during the day and bolstering the Hub of the Americas' leadership in the region in schedules and frequencies. The airline's expansion plans include the delivery of 23 new aircraft in the next two years.
"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, unsurpassed operational performance, and superior customer service," said CEO Heilbron.
From the U.S., Copa Airlines currently offers nonstop service to Panama from Miami, New York City (JFK), Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. (Dulles), and Orlando.