Two years after Copa Airlines filled the gap left when United stopped regular flights between Denver, Colorado and Panama, the Panamanian airline is poised to start daily flights between the two cities.
Pedro Heilbron, executive president of Copa told the Denver Busines Journal said that in the near future the airline will start flying every day but did not specify whether the increase would occur this year. Copa Airlines halted part of its expansion plans due to the worldwide suspension of Boeing MAX models.
The Panamanian company maintains six MAX9 aircraft on the ground and last year it was to have received another seven aircraft. This led the company to restructure its growth plan and adjust its operating model, by limiting the number of seats on certain routes.
Since the end of 2017, the airline has maintained a schedule of four weekly flights to Denver, but in the high season, when winter activities (snow) begin, the frequencies increase to one daily.
“We are still the only direct flight between Denver and South and Central America. We are very positive with the way the Denver market has developed and given us unique connectivity to Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, said ”Heilbron.
According to Emily Williams, a spokeswoman for Denver International Airport, consulted by the Denver Busines Journal, the air connection offered by Copa has “significantly” boosted travel demand to and from the US city. “The market is more than twice the size than when Copa inaugurated the services since the connection has stimulated travel between key destinations in Central and South America, including Cartagena, in Colombia; Lima Peru; and San José, Costa Rica,” said Williams.
Heilbron said that travelers who use the route will benefit from more connections after the Denver airport administration granted 24 additional doors to United, an airline that maintains a code-share agreement with the Panamanian company.