With ticket prices to destinations in the United States and Canada averaging in the US$700-range, new airline entrant Copa Airlines hopes to offer introductory rates from as low as US$230 for return flights from mid-July to November of this year.
“We are not just looking at traditional routes New York and Miami. We have those. But because we know there are Guyanese in all states in the US and Canada, so we are interlinking flights to several others states at rates the public won’t believe,” a representative of the company told Stabroek News yesterday.
Copa Airlines will begin flying from Georgetown to destinations offered via Panama from July 11th of this year until November 30th.
Along with all taxes inclusive rates of US$311 return to New York and Toronto, travellers also have the choice of travelling directly from Georgetown to other states such as Atlanta and Montreal. On the Georgetown to Washington route tickets would cost US$386, with the same starting destination to Miami being US$230 and to Orlando US$236.
The representative informed that tickets go on sale from today and can be purchased online at www.copaair.com or from established travel agencies countrywide, such as Muneshwers, Frandec, and Connections. There are a limited number of seats available for the quoted prices and they will be sold on a first come first served basis.
Scheduled flight days are on Tuesdays and Fridays, with all flights routing through Panama then to the connecting destination. Passengers have to book a minimum stay of two days and a maximum of up to 60 days.
Stabroek News understands that Copa will also be targeting Guyanese living in European countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany and will have plans later on to link with carriers from Panama to those destinations at cheaper rates than what are currently offered.
Persons can sign up for double miles rewards on Copa’s frequent flyer programme, which offers rewards on service charges and discounts on mileage acquired. Flights come with all-inclusive meals and each passenger is entitled to two 50lb pieces of checked luggage and a hand piece.
Copa had earlier this year stated that it expected to provide quicker access to almost every international destination. According to the airline, the new routes will strengthen its position in regional air travel and provide passengers in Georgetown, Montreal and Fort Lauderdale with the fastest and most efficient way to connect with Latin America via Copa’s Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama, thereby increasing travel options and improving connections throughout its extensive route network.
Founded in 1947, Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A said its sustained growth in recent years has allowed it to reinforce its leadership in the region and to continue its reputation as “the most successful and efficient hub for travel to and from, as well as within, Latin America,” CEO Pedro Heilbron said.
The airline will add eight new Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft this year, bringing its total fleet to 98 state-of-the-art aircraft, and increasing available seats by 10 per cent.
The new route to Guyana is Copa Airlines’ first to this South American country, which will connect the area with Panama and the region. The new cities served will bring Copa Airlines’ total number of destinations to 69 in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama is the hub with the most destinations and international flights on the continent. Last year, Copa Airlines reportedly transported 11,316,678 million passengers; increased seat capacity by 14 per cent; received Skytrax awards for “Best Airline” and “Best Cabin and Airport Crew” in Central America and the Caribbean; added two destinations to its route network: Boston, Massachusetts, and Tampa Bay, Florida; added 13 flight frequencies to key destinations already served; and achieved an on-time performance of nearly 90 per cent, on par with the best airlines in the world.
Copa Airlines is also a member of the Star Alliance, the leading global airline network, offering passengers 1,328 destinations in 195 countries with more than 21,900 daily flights and 900 VIP lounges.