Copa Airlines

From Academic Kids

Copa Airlines Template:Airline codes is the national flag airline of Panama. Copa is an acronym of Compañía Nacional Panameña de Aviación, meaning Panamanian National Aviation Company in in Spanish. It is headquartered in Panama City and makes its hub at Tocumen International Airport.


COPA began flying in 1947, with a Curtiss C-47 plane. The airline saw its first international service in the 1960s, when services were inaugurated to cities in Jamaica, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

Until the early 1980s, the airline had stiff competition from Air Panama, until then a better known airline to the international public. Copa heightened the competition by acquiring its first jet, a Boeing 737-100, and inaugurating flights to Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as to the Dominican Republic and Miami, Florida. The 737 became a staple of the Copa fleet: it is currently the only type of airliner the airline uses.

Expansion continued during the 1990s, when Copa's 737s began to be sighted at Ministro Pistarini International Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile, José Martí International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru, Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico and many other Latin American airports. The airline reached further internationalization by becoming, alongside TACA, Lacsa, Aviateca and Nica a member of an ambitious Central American airline group under the name of Grupo TACA. Each airline continued to operate under their own names.

In 1998, Copa reached an agreement to form an alliance with Continental Airlines. Since then, it has adopted a livery and corporate logo which resemble those of Continental, and participates in Continental's OnePass frequent flyer program.

In 2000, Copa inaugurated services to Los Angeles and Orlando, as well as to São Paulo, Brazil. In 2003 it began service to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, and announced, in August of that year, a strategic deal with Mexico's Mexicana de Aviacion.

On June 1, 2005, COPA announced that it had purchased 90% of the Colombian domestic air carrier AeroRepública, having earlier announced plans to codeshare with them. The airline also announces it is planning to make AeroRepública the second largest carrier in Colombia after the nation's flag carrier, Avianca. It plans to increase domestic destinations, modernize its fleet, and initiate the airline's first international destinations in late 2005. A few days later it was announced among the four future associate member of Skyteam Alliance, due to join by 2006.


The COPA fleet consists of the following jet aircraft (as of June 2005):

In 2004 it placed a purchase order for 19 Embraer 190 airplanes.

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Members of the Skyteam Alliance
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Future Members: Air Europa | Aeroflot | China Southern Airlines | COPA | Kenya Airways | TAROM
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