Lima, Peru - April 9, 2012-- Copa Airlines announced today it will begin new service from Panama to Iquitos, Peru, in July, as well as a fifth daily non-stop flight between Panama and Lima. Officials expect the new flights to revitalize commercial air traffic and contribute to the growth of the Peruvian economy through increased international visits.
Lima had been the only other port of entry to Peru since Faucett ceased operations. Copa Airlines believes Iquitos has the potential for generating passenger traffic given the region's tourist attractions and Panama's strategic location, which facilitates connections to/from Miami, New York, Toronto, the Caribbean, and other destinations.
"Our interest in exploring new destinations coincides with the Peruvian government's efforts to facilitate international access to a second destination in Peru," said José Luis Agüero, General Manager of Copa Airlines' operations in Peru. Copa's new service to Iquitos has received the support of the government's Transportation and Communications Ministries, Foreign Trade and Tourism Ministries, and the Regional Government of Loreto.
Starting July 14, Copa's new nonstop service between Panama and Iquitos will be offered twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The flight will depart Panama at 11:36 a.m.; the return service will depart Iquitos at 2:59 p.m. The new route is expected to serve about 5,000 international passengers - both business and tourist - the first year of operation.
Copa's new service will boost Iquito's economy by providing foreign tourists with access to the destination without a stop-over in Lima. Currently Iquitos is accessible only via air service from Lima on other carriers, or via river transportation from several domestic and international destinations.
"We are pleased that the Peruvian authorities have given us the green light to start our fifth nonstop flight between Lima and Panama on July 1," Aguero added. "We expect to increase passenger capacity by at least 20 percent over 2011 since we have seen consistent demand in response to increased market capacity.".
The new nonstop daily service to Lima will depart Panama at 3:36 p.m.; the return flight will depart Lima at 5:01 a.m.
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