17:53 PM

Copa Airlines celebrates second anniversary at TPA

(Dec. 17, 2015) Copa Airlines on Thursday, celebrated two years of nonstop service between Tampa Bay and Panama.  Copa began four-times-weekly flights -- the first direct airline service between Tampa and Latin America – on Dec. 17, 2013. In just two short years, nearly 80,000 people have enjoyed the convenient nonstop service to the airline’s hub in Panama City. Copa plane at TPA

“We greatly appreciate the support we have received from the Tampa International Airport, our Tampa Bay tourism partners, elected officials, civic and business leaders, and, of course, our passengers during the past two years,” said Fernando Fondevila, North America Commercial Regional Manager, Copa Airlines. “The support we have received since we started the flight continues to be great. Everyone realizes the potential of Copa’s flight to expand trade and tourism by increasing connectivity in the Americas.”

Copa’s nonstop Tampa-to-Panama flight not only opens up access to Panama, but also increases business and leisure travel options to destinations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

From the airline’s Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama, Tampa passengers can make convenient connections to more than 55 destinations in Latin America.  Flights are timed for the best connections to several cities in Brazil and Colombia; San Jose, Costa Rica; Caracas, Venezuela; Guatemala; Buenos Aires; Lima, Peru; and Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, among others. Connecting passengers do not have to stop at immigration/customs and baggage is checked to the final destination.

“Nonstop flights from Tampa to Panama over the past two years have opened up all of Latin America to the west coast of Florida, and helped strengthen the entire Tampa Bay region,” said Chris Minner, TPA’s Vice President of Marketing. “We look forward to many more years to come.”

Copa began service to Tampa – the airline’s ninth U.S. destination – for a number of reasons, Fondevila explained, citing the Panama Canal’s potential to be a gateway to global trade for Port Tampa Bay, the opportunity to showcase the Tampa Bay area’s many tourist attractions to Latin American leisure travelers, the fact that many Latin American students come to study at area academic institutions, and the more than 5.3 million people in the Tampa Bay region who have ties to Central and South America.