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Stock market bets on high flying Copa Airlines


Posted 13/12/2021

The market is betting on the Copa Airlines tailwinds as the Panama-based carrier approaches pre- pandemic passenger levels.

The November traffic report shows that the monthly data is 17.3% lower when compared to the same month of 2019. This percentage refers to the RPM (seat miles with income), which is a measure of the air transport industry showing the number of miles traveled by passengers who purchased an air ticket.

Regarding the load factor, it reached 84.5% in November, while two years ago it closed at 85.5%. When comparing the information with November 2020, an increase of 226% stands out, since last year the airline did not make commercial flights, from the end of March to October 11, due to the prohibition decreed by the Government to prevent the spread of  covid-19.

The recovery of traffic experienced by Copa Airlines has caught the attention of Wall Street specialists, according to the stock market analysis firm Sacks, which maintains a “buy” recommendation on the shares of Copa Holdings, the airline group that owns the airline's securities. which has its operations center at the Tocumen International Airport.

In a report published this week, Zacks indicated that the consensus among New York analysts is that Copa Holdings' share price could rise as much as 29% in the coming days.

The share will begin this week with a price of $77 and if the market projection is fulfilled, it could exceed $100 in a few days, although the most optimistic analysts do not rule out that it will reach $111, which would represent an advance of more than 40%.

"This view is reinforced by the agreement among analysts that the company will report better earnings than previously estimated," says Zacks.

Copa Holdings reported revenues of $445 million in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 46.3% compared to the previous quarter. The company posted a net profit of $8.2 million, which contrasts with a loss of $16 million in the second quarter of this year.


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Copa Airlines leads on punctuality for 8th year


Posted 18/01/2022

Copa Airlines has been recognized by Cirium, a leading aviation data analysis company, as "The Most Punctual Airline in Latin America" for the eighth

consecutive year, registering a punctuality rate of 90.25%, in a total of 44,126 flights in 2021.

“The punctuality and safety of the crew and passengers are two of the main differentiating elements of Copa Airlines, which, with this distinction, maintains its position as the only airline in the world to lead a region for so many consecutive years said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa.

Despite the restrictions and obstacles imposed by the pandemic, Copa Airlines is gradually recovering, aiming to reach 2022 close to 90% of the traffic it maintained in 2019.

Currently, the airline has a total of 72 active aircraft and operates an average of 275 daily flights through the Hub of the Americas, the hub with the

most international flights in the region. Located at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, the hub is one of the top 10 airports in the world

according to ForwardKeys data, from which Copa Airlines connects to more than 70 cities in 30 countries in North, Central, and South America.


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Copa Cargo introduces  new plane after record year


Posted 25/04/2022

Growing demand has led the Copa company to introduce to Copa Airlines Cargo, an aircraft with the capacity to transport 21.7 tons per flight, thus expanding its operations and enhancing the region's connectivity in the area.

“Due to the growing demand in the region, Copa Airlines has seen the opportunity to expand Copa Airlines Cargo services and deepen our participation in this competitive market, taking advantage of the advantages offered by the 'Hub of the Americas', located in the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City," said Copa Airlines' senior cargo and courier director, Jaime Álvarez. The company incorporates into the Copa Airlines Cargo service an exclusive cargo aircraft model Boeing 737-800BCF with the capacity to transport 21.7 tons per flight, with which it is projected to "increase the kilos transported by 50% versus 2021 ", a record year with 30,000 tons transported, the company said.

Álvarez explained, "it is a plane from the Copa family converted into a freighter by Boeing itself, with the latest technology, for a freighter plane." The aircraft registration began operations on March 28 with weekly flights to Central America, Santo Domingo, and Havana, the company said. It is being evaluated soon to operate to other potential destinations that are part of the more than 70 of Copa Airlines' commercial passenger routes.


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No Fear of Flying as Copa rebuilds after  pandemic losses


Posted 10/08/2022

Copa Airlines suffered the greatest loss in its history due to the covid-19  pandemic $607 million, only in the year 2020 said  Executive President Pedro Heilbron on Wednesday, August 10, at an event hosted by La Prensa". Since then, the airline has obtained several quarters of continuous growth, but he calculated that the airline will take between three and four years to recover from the loss. In the year 2019, the net income was $247 million and in 2021, $2.7 million.

At this juncture, the airline undertook a plan to renew its fleet. In the midst of the crisis, it began the purchase of 737 Max aircraft. Now it has 21 and for the next year, it calculates that it will be 34. Right now, the company operates 88 planes, all of the B737 model. The other year, the fleet would be 99 aircraft.

The human team will also grow: Copa had 7,277 workers before the pandemic. The figure fell by half in the first year of the crisis

 Now there are 6,822 workers. They expect to grow the payroll by 3% for next year. Heilbron said that they are looking for 600 cabin crew, 319 pilots, and 125 aviation mechanics, among others.

Of the 80 routes that operated before the pandemic, 71 have been reactivated.

Company goals
Heilbron commented that three goals were set once the operation was paralyzed due to the respiratory virus. The first was to rescue the company by requesting lines of credit before the markets closed, the second was to establish voluntary retirement plans and monthly voucher packages for workers, and the third was to implement a plan to make reservations more flexible so as not to affect passengers.

He pointed out that in the first half of this year they reached 88% of the operations they had in the first half of 2019 and they project that in the second half of this year they will exceed 90%.

In June 2019, Copa had operations in 80 destinations in 33 countries with 331 daily flights. By December 2020, after having its fleet of 92 aircraft paralyzed for 6 months the airline was already flying to 50 destinations in 26 countries with 117 daily connections.

"The road is challenging, but the important thing is that there is no fear of flying," said Heilbron, pointing out that the company came into the pandemic with a responsible structure in its finances, allowing the airline not to need subsidies or resort to bankruptcy like some of its competitors.


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Airlines seek to boost flight and ground staff


Posted 16/08/2022

The post-pandemic surge in air travel has created problems of flight delays and cancellations in Europe and the United States at the beginning of the high summer season in the northern hemisphere highlighting an urgent need for greater human resources on the ground and in the air.

A study by Boeing company predicts that in the next 20 years 2.1 million people will be needed for different positions, including; 602 thousand pilots, 610 thousand aeronautical maintenance technicians, and 899 thousand crew members.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects direct employment in the sector to reach 2.7 million, 4.3% more than in 2021, as the industry recovers.

In the world, passenger traffic closed in June with a strong recovery and increased 76.2% compared to June 2021. Latin American airlines registered an increase of 136.6% in passenger traffic in June, the capacity or available seats increased by 107.4 % and the occupancy factor of the flights was 83.3%.

Panama expects to close the year with between 13 million and 15 million passengers moving through Tocumen International Airport, and meanwhile, airlines such as Copa expect to reactivate all their routes and capacity between 2023 and 2024, and for that, they require more personnel.

Despite a global scenario pressured by the rise in fuel prices, the airline began the year with a plan to recruit personnel with the projection of hiring a total of more than 1,300 people, of which 319 will be pilots.

Bolívar Domínguez, vice president of flight operations for Copa Airlines, explained that they are hiring pilots who have recently graduated from the Latin American Higher Aviation Academy (ALAS) and have also launched the Lift Program to train pilots who have already graduated from other academies for two months, to strengthen their skills and competencies.

Copa Airlines expects to close 2021 with 6,822 workers in its different areas and by 2023 reach 7,500 employees and exceed by 3% the jobs it generated directly in 2019.


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Copa September revenue  up 3.5% on pre-pandemic


Posted 15/10/2022

Copa Holdings ' passenger demand continues to recover, leaving behind the negative numbers it recorded since the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

In August, the company [holder of Copa Airlines and Wingo airline shares] reported its first increase in demand since October 2020.

Now, in September, the RPM - indicator used in the aviation industry to measure an airline's real demand, or revenue per passenger, grew 3.5% compared to September 2019.

Although the company has not yet reestablished all the frequencies that it operated until February 2020, in recent months Copa Airlines has begun to operate new destinations in Venezuela and Colombia, while Wingo began with flights to the Dominican Republic and Havana, Cuba, from the Panama Pacifico airport, former Howard military base.

These two new flights, which will depart from the Panama Pacifico airport, represent an increase of 40% in the current offer of Wingo routes in Panama.

The September report of Copa Holdings, whose shares on the New York Stock Exchange exceed $70, indicates that the seating capacity grew 1.2%, while the load factor rose two percentage points to 84.9%.


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