Copa Airlines

هواپیمایی کوپا

ID:10280 Section:

Updated:Saturday 11th October 2014

Copa Airlines Definition

Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A., operating as Copa Airlines (CM), is an airline based in Panama City, Panama, and serves as Panama's flag carrier. Its main base of operations is Tocumen International Airport, and the airline currently offers more than 280 daily scheduled flights to 63 destinations in 29 countries in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean with a fleet of 73 airplanes.Out of the 5-star ranking, Copa Airlines holds a 3-star ranking from Skytrax, indicating generally positive reviews. (Wikipedia) - Copa Airlines
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2013)
Copa Airlines Founded Commenced operations Hubs Focus cities Frequent-flyer program Airport lounge Alliance Subsidiaries Fleet size Destinations Company slogan Parent company Headquarters Key people Revenue Operating income Net income Website
June 21, 1944 (1944-06-21)
August 15, 1947 (1947-08-15)
  • Tocumen International Airport (Panama City)
  • El Dorado International Airport
  • La Aurora International Airport
  • Juan Santamaría International Airport
  • Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Copa Club (in partnership with United)
  • SkyTeam (associate member 2007-2009)
  • Star Alliance
Copa Airlines Colombia
Connected, everything is possible
Copa Holdings, S.A.
Panama City, Panama
Pedro Heilbron (CEO) Jose Montero (CFO)
US$2,249 million (FY 2012)
US$402,5 million (FY 2012)
US$326.4 million (FY 2012)

Compañía Panameña de Aviación, S.A., (NYSE: CPA), operating as Copa Airlines, is an airline based in Panama City, Panama, and serves as Panama''s flag carrier. Their main base of operations is Tocumen International Airport, and in 2013 the airline carried 11.345 million passengers on more than 326 daily scheduled flights to 69 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Copa is a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A. as well as a member of the Star Alliance. The airline is also the main operator and owner of Colombian airline AeroRepublica, currently known as Copa Airlines Colombia.

Copa Airlines was founded in 1947 as the national airline of Panama. They began operations with domestic flights to three cities in Panama using Douglas DC-3s. Copa Airlines then abandoned their domestic flights in favor of international flights. In 1998, Copa formed a strategic partnership with Continental Airlines, replacing their own livery and adopting the OnePass (replaced afterwards by MileagePlus) frequent flyer program. The airline operates a fleet of 92 aircraft, mostly Boeing 737 NGs used on most international flights and a smaller fleet of Embraer E-190 for regional flights.

As of 2013, the airline employs over 9,000 people, most of them residing in Panama and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country. It is headed by Chief Executive Officer Pedro Heilbron.

  • 1 History
    • 1.1 Inauguration
    • 1.2 Expansion years
  • 2 Awards and honors
    • 2.1 2000''s
    • 2.2 2010''s
  • 3 Destinations
  • 4 Fleet
  • 5 Liveries
  • 6 Services
    • 6.1 Business Class
    • 6.2 Economy Class
    • 6.3 In-flight entertainment
  • 7 MileagePlus
  • 8 Copa Club
  • 9 Codeshare agreements
  • 10 Incidents and accidents
    • 10.1 Hijackings
  • 11 Popular culture
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links

History Inauguration

The airline was established as Compañía Panameña de Aviación (hence the acronym COPA) on 21 June 1944 and started operations on 15 August 1947. It was founded by a group of prominent Panamanian investors with assistance from Pan American World Airways, who took a 32% stake. They began operations with domestic flights operated by a small fleet of Copa Airships B1 and Copa Airships B2 aircraft. The airline started their first international flights in the 1970s with service to cities in Jamaica, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

Until the early 1980s, the airline had significant competition from Air Panamá Internacional, better known to the flying public. Copa discontinued domestic flights in 1979 and acquired their first jet, a Boeing 737-100. Today, the airline operates flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, as well as to the Dominican Republic and Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 was the only aircraft in the carrier''s fleet until the introduction of the Embraer 190 in 2005.

Expansion yearsA Copa Airlines Lockheed L-188 Electra at La Aurora International Airport in 1980.

Expansion continued during the 1990s, when service was started to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Bogotá, Colombia; Havana, Cuba; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico; Caracas, Venezuela; and many other important Latin American cities.

In 1992, Copa signed a strategic alliance with El Salvador-based TACA Airlines, and Copa began flying from Tocumen International Airport, making it the first flight connection center in Latin America. As a consequence, Tocumen airport became the "Hub of the Americas" and the integration of several Latin American airlines to the alliance, such as LACSA of Costa Rica, Aviateca of Guatemala, and NICA of Nicaragua. The alliance ended in 1998 after the six-year agreement expired.

In 1998, Continental Airlines acquired 49% of the airline, marking the beginning of a comprehensive marketing and operating alliance. On 19 May 1999, Continental increased their stake to 51 percent. Since then, Copa has adopted a livery and a corporate logo similar to Continental''s (now United''s). Copa participated in the OnePass frequent flyer program until Continental''s merger with United. In connection with the initial public offering in December 2005, Continental reduced their investment to approximately 27.3% and through a follow-on offering in 2006, further reduced it to approximately 10% .

More than half of Copa''s aircraft fleet consists of Boeing 737 aircraft. Pictured; a Boeing 737-800.

In 2000, Copa Airlines inaugurated service to Los Angeles, Cancún, and Orlando, as well as to São Paulo; in 2001, they began service to Quito, Ecuador. In 2004, service to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City began. Copa also announced in August of that year a code sharing alliance with Mexico''s Mexicana de Aviación, which lasted until 2007.

On 1 June 2005, Copa Airlines purchased 90 percent of the Colombian domestic air carrier AeroRepública, having earlier announced plans to codeshare with them. Copa rebranded AeroRepública to Copa Airlines Colombia and increased destinations and modernized the fleet.

On 15 December 2005, Copa Holdings, S.A., the parent company of Copa Airlines, launched an IPO of 14 million shares in the New York Stock Exchange thus becoming the fourth Latin American airline to be traded in the exchange, the other three being LAN Airlines of Chile and Brazilian carriers Gol Transportes Aéreos and TAM Airlines (TAM Linhas Aéreas).

In 2006, Copa Airlines began service to six new destinations: Manaus, Brazil; Maracaibo, Venezuela; Montevideo, Uruguay; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; and Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

In addition, Copa Airlines received six Embraer 190s and two Boeing 737s.

In 2007, Copa Airlines added service to Córdoba, Argentina; Guadalajara, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Washington, D.C., United States.

Copa Airlines received four Embraer 190s and two Boeing 737s (series-800).

A Copa Airlines E-190 in Brazil.

During 2008, Copa Airlines added five new destinations and received four Embraer 190s and one Boeing 737-800. The new destinations are Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Valencia, Venezuela; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

In May 2008, Continental Airlines sold their remaining 4.38 million shares of Copa Airlines for $35.75 a share, for net proceeds of approximately $149.8 million.

That same year, Copa Airlines chief executive Pedro Heilbron on the ALTA airline leaders forum in Cancún said that Copa Airlines had decided to leave SkyTeam and were in exclusive talks with Star Alliance.

In 2009, Copa Airlines announced their withdrawal from SkyTeam on 24 October, the same date that partner Continental Airlines left SkyTeam. They added two Boeing 737-800s. and announced a firm order for 13 Boeing 737-800s that will come with the new Boeing signature "Sky Interior".

In 2010, Copa Airlines began service to St. Maarten, received nine Boeing 737-800s and announced that they would finally join Star Alliance in mid-2012 to rejoin old partner Continental (now United) Airlines and become the first Panamanian airline to join Star Alliance.

Also, Copa Airlines and Boeing announced the purchase of 32 Boeing 737-800 planes, set for delivery between 2015 and 2018, with an option to acquire ten more Boeing 737-800, valued approximately at $1.7 billion. This is the largest plane order in Copa Airlines'' history.

On June 2012, Copa Airlines became one of the first Latin America airlines to enter to the Star Alliance.

In 2011, Copa Airlines started flying to Toronto, Canada; Brasilia, Brazil; Porto Alegre, Brazil; Chicago, United States; Cúcuta, Colombia; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Monterrey, Mexico; Asunción, Paraguay; and Nassau, The Bahamas. It also passed from a four bank hub to a six bank hub and increased frequencies to several destinations.

They also launched their first mobile website (, giving their passengers the ability to get the Mobile Pass, check flight status and other characteristics. Additionally, Copa announced a new codeshare agreement with TAME, which became effective in January 2012.

Copa Airlines became the first airline in Latin America to have the new Boeing 737-800 NG Sky Interior with improved performance in their fleet.

In 2012, five new destinations were announced: Las Vegas, United States; Recife, Brazil; Willemstad, Curaçao; Liberia, Costa Rica; and Iquitos, Peru. Copa also increased flight frequencies to several destinations. The company made an interline agreement with Air Panama (Panama''s second-largest airline) which consists of the linkage of all tourist destinations in Panama with those in Latin America. The agreement became effective in June 1, 2012, when Air Panama began flights from Tocumen airport to Isla Colón, Bocas del Toro.

In 2013, Copa increased the frequency to several destinations and included two new destinations in the United States: Boston and Tampa.

On October 10, 2013, Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) announced that Copa Airlines placed an order to retrofit some of its existing Boeing Next Generation 737''s Blended Winglets with APB''s new Split Scimitar Winglet, as part of its environmental strategy. The new APB winglet technology will save Copa more than $21 million in jet fuel costs fleet wide and more than 63,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) output per year.

On 2014, Copa Airlines announced three new destinations and revealed its business strategy for the year, which includes the delivery of 8 brand-new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the increase of frecuencies in some destinations. The new destinations are Montreal, Canada; Fort Lauderdale, United States; and Georgetown, Guyana.

On April 2014, Copa Airlines became the first airline in Latin America and the third in the world to implement the Split Scimitar Winglets in their Boeing 737 NG fleet.

Awards and honorsA Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Los Angeles International Airport, in California, United States.2000''s
  • November 2002: Best Regionalization in Latin America Award, PODER Magazine, Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Egon Zehnder International.
  • December 2002: "Tourism without Borders" Award, Federation of Tourism Chambers of Central America.
  • April 2003: "Developing Airline of the Year" Award, AirFinance Journal.
  • April 2004: "Best Airline" in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Award, based on the annual World Airline Survey conducted by Skytrax, a British market-survey company.
  • June 2004: Among the 25 Best Employers in Latin America, América Economía magazine.
  • June 2005: "Best Airline" and "Best On-board Service" in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Awards, Skytrax.
  • June 2006: "Best Airline" and "Best Cabin Staff" in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Awards, Skytrax.
  • October 2006: One of the 10 Best Employers in Latin America, América Economía magazine.
  • August 2009: The Life Achievement Awards, Airline Business magazine.
  • 2010: Mexico & Central America''s Leading Airline, World Travel Awards.
  • 2010: World''s Most Sustainable Airline Environmental Award, GREENHORIZON Aviation
  • June 2011: fourth place in Leading Companies of 2011, Summa Magazine.
  • November 2011: Mexico''s and Central America Leading Airline, World Travel Awards.
  • July 2012: Regional leadership Airline, Airline Business magazine.
  • July 2013: "Best Airline" and "Best Cabin Staff" in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Awards, Skytrax.
Destinations Main article: Copa Airlines destinations

Copa Airlines currently flies to 69 destinations in 30 countries in North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.


Copa Airlines operates a total of 97 aircraft, with an average fleet age of 4.3 years. The Boeing customer code for Copa Airlines is V3, yielding model numbers such as 737-8V3, representing in this example a Boeing 737-800 aircraft manufactured for Copa Airlines.

Copa Airlines Fleet Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes J Y Total Total 97 37
Boeing 737-700 18 - 12 112 124 Older aircraft to be replaced with Boeing 737-800s.
Boeing 737-800 53 37 14 16 141 144 155 160 Deliveries through 2018.

55 aircraft to get Split Scimitar winglets by 2018. Replacing older Boeing 737-700s.

Embraer 190 26 - 10 84 94
  • Copa Airlines was the launch customer of the Embraer E-190 in Latin America. The airline also operates what used to be the longest scheduled Boeing 737-700 flight in the world between Panama City and Montevideo in Uruguay until SAS began serving Stavanger to Houston.
  • The average age of Copa Airlines aircraft is approximately 4.3 years.
  • In October 2004, Copa Airlines announced an order to purchase 10 Embraer E-190 aircraft with options for a further 20 new aircraft. Later the firm orders were increased by exercising 5 of the options. 6 aircraft were delivered in the first quarter of 2007. In June 2007 the airline took delivery of its seventh Embraer E-190 aircraft and is due to receive 4 more during 2007. The aircraft are configured with 10 seats in Clase Ejecutiva (Business Class) and 84 seats in economy.
  • At 31 May 2007, the airline has firm commitments to purchase 4 Boeing 737-Next Generation(series -800) and 10 Embraer E-190, with a list price of approximately $1.1 billion.
  • On 30 December 2008, Copa Airlines has announced the firm order for 4 more Boeing 737-800.
  • On 16 July 2009, the Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines announced the firm order for 13 Boeing 737-800 that will come with the new Boeing''s signature "Sky Interior".
  • On 30 November 2010, Copa Airlines and Boeing announced the purchase of 22 Boeing 737-800 planes, set for delivery between 2015 and 2018, with an option to acquire 10 more Boeing 737-800, valued approximately at $1.7 billion. This is the largest plane order in Copa Airlines history.
  • On 4 April 2013, Copa Airlines received the first Next-Generation 737 of the world at higher production rate, which is a Boeing 737-800 (registration HP-1831CMP).
  • As of 2012, the airline has taken into consideration the acquisition the re-engineered Boeing 737 MAX family, but has not given an official statement because they are under study process.
  • On 8 April 2014, the carrier received their first Boeing 737-800 (registered HP-1836CMP) with Split Scimitar winglets and expects to retrofit all the Boeing 737s with the new winglets.
LiveriesDuring the last 20 years, Copa Airlines has had multiple liveries on their aircraft.

Since its founding in 1947, Copa Airlines had several liveries during the update of its fleet from turboprops to jetliners. Also, it has special liveries within its fleet. On November 2003, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Panama, Copa Airlines put on its fleet of Boeing 737-700 an special livery with the official logo of the centennial and the picture of the first president of Panama, Manuel Amador Guerrero.

On 2006, a Copa Airlines Embraer 190 had a special livery because that plane was the 200th Embraer 190 produced by the Brazilian plane manufacturer Embraer.

On February 3, 2011, the Tourism Authority of Panama worked alongside Copa Airlines to make a special livery for a Boeing 737-800 (registered HP-1534CMP) with a butterfly logo of Panama and the website "". This was part of an effort to promote tourism in Panama. As of 2013, the plane no longer has the logo on the left forward side.

On March 6, 2012, a brand-new Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800 (registered HP-1728CMP) was painted with the Star Alliance livery. Also, it introduced an new and redesigned font style in the Copa Airlines''s logo. This plane in particular was inactive from that month until June 21, when it was exhibited in the celebration of the company''s official integration to the Star Alliance. After the celebration, the aircraft was put officially in service. Six days later, that plane made the first scheduled non-stop passenger flight from Panama to Las Vegas. On May 30, 2012, another brand-new Boeing 737-800 for the company (registered HP-1823CMP) was painted with the Star Alliance livery.

On October 2012, a brand-new Boeing 737-800 (registered HP-1825CMP) was delivered to Copa, sporting the livery of Frank Gehry''s "Biomuseo", a museum to open in Panama City in 2013.

On March 2013, a newly built Boeing 737-800 for Copa Airlines (registered HP-1830CMP) was painted with the Star Alliance livery scheme. After this delivery, Copa Airlines has on its fleet 3 planes painted with the former Star Alliance livery, as of April 2013.

On August 2014, Copa Airlines worked alongside with the Panama Canal Authority to launch a special campaign in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. The campaign included the implementation of a special livery, which has a graphical image of the locks, on the back of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft and is expected to be implemented in more than 40 aircraft of the fleet.

From 1947 to present, Copa Airlines has used the following liveries:

  • Compañia Panameña de Aviación - (1947–1961)
  • Vuele Copa - (1961–1965)
  • Copa Panama (original) - White fuselage with a red or green cheatline (1965–1971)
  • Copa Panama (1st upgrade) - Red and orange cheatline with white fuselage (1971–1980)
  • Copa Panama (2nd upgrade) - Red and yellow cheatline with white fuselage (1980–1990)
  • Copa "Billboard Style" - Red and yellow cheatline with white fuselage, and "Copa" logo in the front part of the widebody and tail. (1990–1999)
  • Copa Airlines - white and gray fuselage, with gold cheatline in the middle, and the well-known globe logo. (1999–present)

The last livery on the list has been used by Copa Airlines since 1999, after Continental raised its ownership of the company by 51% in that year. Although Continental ceased operations on March 2012 as a result of its merger with United Airlines, Copa and United still use the same livery and the "globe" logo design, but the font style titles of both airlines had a rebranding.

Services Business Class

When flying in Business Class, customers obtain the following benefits: special check-in at airport counters, leather seats, meals, a large variety of liquors and wines, pillows, and blankets (depending on the type and duration of the flight). It provides 3 Panamanian newspapers departing from Panama, bonus miles for all members of the MileagePlus program, access to all United Club/Copa Club.

A Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800 about to land at Miami International Airport, in Florida (2011).

Also, private bathroom for business class passengers, and in long-haul flights, a courtesy kit containing toiletry items, hot towels, and bottled water will be provided to all Business Class passengers. In the Boeing 737 fleet, it includes first class recliners with footrests, major space between each line of Business Class, and personal in-flight entertainment screens.

Economy Class

In this class, passengers have some of the benefits as in Business class, such as inflight entertainment in the Boeing 737 fleet (movies, TV sitcoms, and access to music radio stations), hot meals, a wide variety of drink options that can be selected during meals, and complementary drink services.

In-flight entertainment

In the Boeing 737 fleet, the airline has an inflight entertainment system. Copa Airlines selects an appropriate movie for all flights to or from Panama, and reproduces some TV series (series showing only applies in flights that take at least 5.5 hours). Moreover, the Boeing fleet is equipped with a radio antenna, which allows passengers to choose from 12 selected music radio stations and to listen to a wide variety of songs and instrumentals. The airline also provides an inflight magazine (Panorama de las Americas) in which one may find articles related to the airline''s destinations, world economy, leadership and entrepreneurship, science and technology, and many other topics.

MileagePlusLogo of MileagePlus.

MileagePlus is Copa Airlines'' frequent flyer program through a partnership with United Airlines, offering frequent travelers the ability to purchase tickets with miles. Customers accrue miles from flight segments flown on Copa Airlines, United Airlines, and other partners. MileagePlus offers additional benefits to its Premier members; status tiers are marketed as Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K.

Benefits of Premier status include priority check-in, priority boarding, complimentary upgrades, and discounted airport lounge memberships (United Club/Copa Club). Due to the merger of United and Continental, Copa Airlines phased out its previous frequent flyer program, OnePass, on December 31, 2011, and began using United''s new MileagePlus program on March 3, 2012.

Also, the miles gained with the MileagePlus program can used for awards on other airlines that are official members of the Star Alliance for tickets to fly to other destinations.

Copa Airlines also offers frequent flyer partnerships with the following car rental companies:

  • Advantage
  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty
Copa Club

Copa Club is the membership airport lounge program of Copa Airlines jointly operated with United Airlines. Copa Club lounge is located in its hub at Tocumen International Airport, Panama City, Panama. The lounges offer amenities for travelers and members also have access to affiliated lounges around the world. The Copa Club locations in Central America and the Caribbean includes:

  • Augusto César Sandino International Airport (Nicaragua)
  • Juan Santamaria International Airport (Costa Rica)
  • Las Américas International Airport (Dominican Republic)
  • La Aurora International Airport (Guatemala)
  • Tocumen International Airport (Panama)
Codeshare agreements

Copa Airlines has codeshare agreements with the following airlines: (This list does not include Star Alliance airlines)

  • Aeroméxico
  • Cubana de Aviación
  • Gol Transportes Aéreos
  • KLM
  • Condor
  • TAME
  • Air Panama (interline agreement only)
  • Linea Aerea Amaszonas (interline agreement only)
Incidents and accidents

During its 65-year history, Copa Airlines had the following incidents and accidents:

Copa Airlines Reported Incidents Flight Date Aircraft Location Description Casualties Fatal Serious Minor Uninjured Ground
201 June 6, 1992 Boeing 737-200 near Tucutí, Darien Flight 201, a leased Boeing 737-200 Advanced registered as HP-1205CMP, flipped and crashed in the Darien Gap during a flight from Panama City to Cali after an instrument failure. All 40 passengers and the 7 crew members lost their lives. This is the first and only fatal accident in the history of Copa Airlines (as of October 10, 2014). 47 0 0 0 0
301 November 19, 1993 Boeing 737-100 Tocumen International Airport The plane (registered HP-873CMP) was damaged beyond repair, when it veered off the runway upon landing at Tocumen International Airport at 19:19 local time following a flight from Miami, Florida, with 86 passengers and six crew members. The pilots had not managed to properly align the aircraft with the runway because of severe crosswinds, which led to the nosegear being torn off. There were no reported injuries and the plane was written-off. 0 0 0 92 0

Since its foundation in 1947, Copa Airlines has suffered one hijacking attempt:

  • On 7 August 1994, a hijacking attempt occurred on board a Copa flight from Panama City to Guatemala City. Then it was reported as misunderstanding by Panamanian authorities
Popular culture

In the movie The Tailor of Panama, a Copa Airlines 737-700 is shown.

Tags:2015, Airways, American, Argentina, Boeing, Bolivia, Boston, Brazil, British, Buenos Aires, California, Canada, Caracas, Casualties, Central America, Chicago, Chile, Colombia, Copa Airlines, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Florida, Georgetown, Gold, Guadalajara, Guatemala, Guyana, Havana, Honduras, ICAO, IPO, Jamaica, John F. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy International Airport, KLM, Kennedy, Las Vegas, Latin America, Life, Lockheed, Los, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, Montreal, New York, New York City, New York Stock Exchange, Nicaragua, North America, Panama, Panorama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Quito, Spain, São Paulo, Tampa, Toronto, US, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Washington, Website, Wikipedia

Copa Airlines Media

Copa Airlines Terms

    Copa Airlines Articles

    Copa Airlines Your Feedback