San Francisco, CA…November 30, 2016 – the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) welcomed additional Copa Airlines flights to Panama to meet increased travel demand. In early November, Panama-based airline added a second daily nonstop flight between SFO and Panama City, Panama. Copa, a member of the Star Alliance global airline network, launched nonstop daily service from SFO in September 2015.
In March 2016, Mayor Lee led an economic trade mission to Brazil and Panama as part of the LatinSF initiative with the goal to strengthen business ties and relationships between San Francisco and Latin America. Lee was the first San Francisco mayor to officially visit the two countries. His visit to Panama City, led by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, included a meeting with Copa Airlines Chief Executive Officer Pedro Heilbron to discuss growth opportunities for SFO.
“I am proud to see another productive outcome of the LatinSF economic trade mission, in the welcome news of additional flight service from Copa Airlines between San Francisco and Panama City,” said Mayor Lee. “Both San Francisco and Panama City represent global gateways for commerce, and this additional service only strengthens the growing bond between our two great cities.”
“Panama shares a long history with San Francisco and we are very pleased at the response to Copa’s flight,” said Copa Airlines CEO Heilbron. “Copa is proud to be the business and tourism link between the Bay Area, Panama and the rest of Latin America.”
The new Copa flight, CM 383, departs SFO daily at 12:38 a.m., arriving at Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Tocumen International Airport in Panama at 10:54 a.m. Passengers can make convenient connections to destinations such as Lima, Peru; Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; San Jose, Costa Rica, among many other major cities in Latin America. The return flight, CM382, departs PTY at 6:17 p.m., arriving in SFO at 11:08 p.m. The new Copa flight complements Copa’s existing daily service, which departs SFO at 8:15 p.m.
SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero also expressed his enthusiasm over the additional flights. “In addition to nonstop service to Panama, Copa offers SFO customers seamless connections to over 55 cities in Latin America. These additional flights clearly demonstrate the growing demand for travel between our two regions.”
LatinSF works to raise the profile of San Francisco throughout the Latin American region as well as help Latin American companies looking to expand and invest in San Francisco. LatinSF has recruited seven Latin American companies to San Francisco and continues to work with more than 30 additional companies who are exploring an expansion into San Francisco. Additionally, as a result of Mayor Lee’s economic development mission, several Brazilian businesses have visited San Francisco and other businesses and trade groups are now planning visits to explore investment and business opportunities and learn about San Francisco’s success in becoming a center of innovation.
“Since its formation two years ago, the LatinSF has made great strides in its mission to enhance the business ties between San Francisco and Latin America,” said Todd Rufo, Director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “This exciting increase in flight service from Copa validates the demand for greater access between our region’s residents and businesses.”
Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading Latin American providers of passenger and cargo services. The airlines offer service to more than 70 destinations in 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In 2015, Copa was recognized by FlightStats as the most on-time airline in Latin America for the third consecutive year, and was ranked No. 2 worldwide by OAG. In addition, Copa received the award for “Leading Airline in Mexico and Central America” at the 2015 World Travel Awards. Copa has earned three Skytrax 2016 awards: “Best Airline in Central America/Caribbean,” “Best Regional Airline in Central America/Caribbean,” and “Best Airline Staff Service in Central America/Caribbean.”