Copa Airlines is to further expand its network in South America with a new non-stop flight connecting Suriname with its Panama City hub.
The carrier will initially operate the route to Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 July 2019, using Boeing 737-700 aircraft.
Copa Airlines currently has an average of 350 daily flights through its hub at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, connecting more than 80 cities in 32 countries.
The route is the first new international service that Suriname has secured in more than a decade and was made possible thanks to the work of leading aviation consultancy ASM.
Chief executive of Airport Management Ltd, Vijay Chotkan, said, “the efforts of our team and the expert services of ASM, have finally resulted in Copa Airlines to add PBM to their route network.
Confirmation of Copa Airlines’ new route to Suriname comes just weeks after the airline finalized a three-way joint business agreement with US carrier United Airlines and Avianca of Colombia on US-Latin America routes.
The three Star Alliance members said the agreement would enable passengers from 19 countries, excluding Brazil, to access flights from more than 12,000 cities. It will also allow the launch of new non-stop routes and increased frequencies on existing services.
Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines’ chief executive, said the JBA would increase competition for passengers and create a “superior network of more than 275 destinations throughout Latin America and the US”.
Regulatory approval for the venture is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. The three carriers plan to apply for approval and an accompanying grant of antitrust immunity from the US Department of Transportation and other regulatory agencies “in the near term”.
Although the current deal excludes Brazil, the airlines said they were “exploring the possibility” of adding Brazil to the JBA following the recently concluded open skies deal between the US and Brazil.