23:13 PM

TPA celebrates 10 years of flying to Panama with Copa Airlines

The Airport shared Panamanian music and food with travelers on Friday to mark a decade of nonstop service between Tampa Bay and Panama City.

Copa Airlines 10th anniversary 2a

Tampa International Airport on Friday celebrated 10 years of partnering with Copa Airlines to connect the Tampa Bay region to Panama.

Copa began flying between Tocumen International Airport and TPA on Dec. 16, 2013, and has since become an important economic and cultural link between Latin America and Tampa Bay. Nonstop service between TPA and PTY is currently six days per week.

The Airport marked the 10th anniversary with music, Panamanian food, giveaways and more in its Main Terminal and at the historic flight’s gate in Airside F. The entertainment included live performances by traditional Panamanian dancers and musicians.

“When Copa Airlines connected TPA to the nation of Panama in 2013, it was a major milestone in our efforts to increase international service, particularly to Latin American destinations,” TPA CEO Joe Lopano said. “We’re thrilled to see Copa not only remain a part of the TPA family but thrive and expand service over the past decade. We look forward to many more years of working and growing together.”

In the last 10 years, Copa has operated more than 4,000 flights between TPA and PTY, carrying more than 400,000 passengers between the Tampa Bay area and Panama City.

Copa’s current service to its “Hub of the Americas” in Panama City offers roundtrip connections to more than 25 destinations in Central and South America for Tampa Bay travelers. Tampa Bay is home to more than 175,000 residents of Central and South American origin, and Copa is ideally positioned to serve this population.

Flights have increased 22 percent and available seats are up 44 percent since 2013, as the airline has added more frequency with larger aircraft. All flights are operated by modern Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft, with the capacity to carry 16 passengers in business class and 144 in the main cabin.

“We take great pride in our decade-long commitment to facilitating meaningful and seamless connections for thousands of passengers – uniting families, friends, and travelers with their favorite destinations,” said David DeFossey, Regional Commercial Manager – North America at Copa Airlines. “As we reflect on the past 10 years, Copa Airlines remains dedicated to fostering the economic and tourism development of the City of Tampa.”

Click a photo from Friday’s celebration in the gallery to enlarge or download it. B-roll video is also available for download at Vimeo here.