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Panama is Betting on Air Travel to Drive Tourism

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Panama is Betting on Air Travel to Drive Tourism


 Posted 08/06/2024

The president of Copa Airlines, Pedro Heilbron, stated that Panama is betting on air travel to promote tourism, which increases the commitments of the airline.  Heilbron, who recently participated in the General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, indicated that the canal nation manages around 31 percent of the air connections in all of Latin America. 

In 2023 alone, more than 17.82 million passengers moved through the Tocumen International Airport, of which 12.83 million were transfers or connections for boarding and disembarking to other destinations, which represents 71.97 percent of the total.  The goal is that a large part of this volume of people can take advantage of the passage through Tocumen to get to know Panama. 

This year, Copa hopes to attract more than 150 thousand tourists to Panama with the Stop Over program, which allows more people who transit through Tocumen to choose, when making their reservation, to visit the isthmus as a second destination during outbound or return transit, free of charge.  From 2019 until 2022, they managed to attract 320 thousand visitors and in 2023 indicated having processed 120 thousand alone. 

The businessman specified that in this month of June three new routes begin which can be an opportunity for more travelers to choose to visit Panama: Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, United States, from June 21; Florianópolis, in Brazil, on June 25; and Tulum, in Mexico, on June 26.  He also highlighted that they expect to receive five new aircraft that will be incorporated into the fleet and a greater number by 2025.  The idea is to reinforce routes to Argentina and other destinations, and although there are other competitors in the region, such as Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Peru, he said Copa's strategy is to continue growing in connectivity.


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