COPA’s inaugural flight arrives in Guyana

COPA’s inaugural flight arrives

JULY 12, 2014 | BY  | – promises punctual and hassle-free flights

COPA Airline, the flag carrier of Panama, officially made Guyana its 67th destination after it touched down at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), Timehri yesterday, starting a direct link between Panama and Georgetown, Guyana.

COPA started offering nonstop service, twice weekly between Guyana and COPA’s Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport, Panama with connecting service throughout South Central and North America and the Caribbean.

Officials bearing the Guyana and Panama Flags as they disembark the inaugural flight of  COPA Airline

This new flight which landed with over 100 passengers will provide Guyanese with non-stop service to Panama’s hub of the Americas and connectivity to more than 66 other destinations flown by COPA Airlines and 1,316 airports in 192 countries.

The flight will also expand connectivity for Guyanese throughout Central, South and North America and the Caribbean, and provide citizens of both countries with the opportunity to take advantage of each other’s tourism activities and exchange cultures.

Minister of Public Works, Robeson Benn who welcomed the airline, spoke of the excellent service he experienced with COPA, and said he was amazed with the service and ambience that were offered by this large undertaking.

”The fact that COPA had developed that significant hub for this part of the world with respect to air transport, and the fact that they did it, we too can also do it if we stay the course, if we have the energy and willingness to overcome obstacles,” Minister Benn noted during a simple welcoming ceremony at the CJIA lounge.

Minister Benn underscored that with the arrival of the aircraft, Guyana is poised with the right partner to facilitate and further advance integration in Latin and South America, having new visitors and boosting air transport.

The advent of the airline also paves the way for entrepreneurs, manufacturers, tourists and service providers.

Minister Benn added that this partnership signals opportunities for the two countries to integrate for the development of the countries, and others in the Americas.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), CJIA, Ramesh Ghir also welcomed the airline and said that he anticipates that it will be in Guyana on a long-term basis.

Regional Sales Manager, COPA, Diego Bermudez, said that this fresh partnership will definitely establish a new relationship with the two countries, expanding opportunities and sharing cultures.

Bermudez promised that the airline will offer Guyanese world class service. “We are happy to be at the start of a new and promising partnership, and we want to assure that we are going to be here for the long haul,” he said.

COPA Airlines and COPA Airlines Colombia are subsidiaries of COPA Holdings which is a leading Latin American provider of passengers and cargo services.
COPA Airline moved over 11 million passengers in 2013, with 360 daily scheduled flights to 30 countries.

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  • Albert  On July 12, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Offers a direct link between Panama and Guyana. Apart from the Panama Canal there is not much more in Panama. In some places its more poverty stricken than Guyana. Has to be something more than is written.

  • Wayne Farley  On July 12, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    More options to get to Guyana from further afield. I certainly hope Copa lasts longer that the others.

    • Albert  On July 13, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      You are right Wayne. I read the article incorrectly. For connection to Guyana its a good idea. If it work it should be able to drive down travelling costs.

      • Wayne Farley  On July 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        A relatively small percentage of Guyanese living in Guyana would visit Panama as tourists. The new route will probably be more useful for Guyanese businessmen.

  • Cyril Balkaran  On July 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

    The Civil Aviation authorities in Guyana must be supported for their vision of negotiating with Regional airlines to do the Route and assist the Guyanese economy. Many others tried but failed, the classic example of the Red Jet and the New York Air route that was operated by thieves and financial thugs that left many Guyanese and others in financial straights. The more Air lines that can operate the Guyana route will allow for healthier competition. We need to break the CAL monopoly in the region. CARICOM should also own and operate a fleet of aircrafts for their own survival. The secretary of this regional organization must be more innovative and find ways and means to keep the ship of CARICOM afloat economically. When last did anyone hear of a Caricom Finance ministers meeting or Agriculture Ministers meeting for that matter. There is so much to discuss in the sphere of FOOD SECURITY, yet nothing happens in the region of CARICOM!

    • Wayne Farley  On July 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Cyril, you have hit the nail on the head. The Caribbean as a region with less that 40 million people need one airline that we are all part of and can call our own. There is strength in unity, but there is only talk about talks, with no discernible action. While competition is good, we should not have to sacrifice reliability for it. The traveling public deserves better treatment that has been meted out over the years. A valid question to be asked in the case of Guyana is why are we not able to attract and maintain an established U.S. based carrier? The large percentage of passengers traveling to Guyana originate in or transit via North America.

      • Albert  On July 13, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        Wayne…”A valid question to be asked in the case of Guyana is why are we not able to attract and maintain an established U.S. based carrier?”

        Did we not have Delta. Why did they stop? Rumor is that Jagdeo kick them out for personal reasons. If so, that was an idiotic move. We should seek their return. Guyanese with resources are now scattered in the US which makes Delta a plus.
        I am ignoring the perception of high crime in Guyana which keeps many away, but that’s another story.

  • Clyde Duncan  On July 18, 2014 at 8:34 am

    If Air Canada within the second largest country in the world [in terms of real estate] could manage an airline to international and domestic destinations, then Caribbean [or CARICOM] Airlines could do it – they need to negotiate a purchase of LIAT – that is what Air Canada did with all the little provincial and charter airlines at the time – of course, some others have popped up to compete since then, but my point is, CARICOM should be getting down to making the airline in the area efficient, eliminating the duplication of management and workers, build a base and headquarters for aircraft maintenance, school for flight crew training, etc. in Guyana [we have the real estate] – a flagship we could be proud of!!

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