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Copa Airlines Announces New Nonstop Service Between New Orleans and Panama - 2/5/2015 -

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  • Copa Airlines will offer the only direct airline service between New Orleans and Panama, with convenient connections to more than 55 destinations to Central and South America through the airline’s Hub of the Americas
  • Four-times-weekly flights begin June 24, 2015
  • New Orleans will be Copa’s 71st destination and 11th in the U.S.

Panama City, Panama, Feb. 05, 2015Copa Airlines, subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., {NYSE: CPA} and member of the Star Alliance global airline network, today announced it will begin nonstop service four times a week between New Orleans, La., and Panama, Republic of Panama, on June 24, 2015. New Orleans will be Copa Airlines’ 11th U.S. destination and its 71st overall.

The New Orleans region has been one of the largest U.S. markets without nonstop service to Latin America with over 400 passengers daily traveling to the region. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is the largest commercial airport within 300 miles and captures over 80% of Louisiana’s enplanements.

"Copa Airlines is pleased to launch the new nonstop service between Panama and New Orleans, an exciting tourist and cultural destination with strong commercial ties to Panama and a growing Hispanic and Latin American population,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO, Copa Airlines. "Copa’s new flight will not only greatly enhance business and leisure travel options between Louisiana and Panama, but also will increase connectivity to more than 55 destinations throughout Latin America.”

From the Hub of the Americas, Copa Airlines offers flights to more international destinations than any other airline from any other hub in Latin America. The New Orleans – Panama flight is timed for convenient connections to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras; San José, Costa Rica; nine destinations in Colombia, including Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena; nine destinations in Brazil, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia; Santiago, Chile; Lima, Peru; and Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador, among others destinations in Latin America. In-transit passengers making connections do not have to go through immigration and customs in Panama and baggage is checked to the final destination.

"With this new international flight, we open the gateway to the Americas and unleash new economic opportunity for the region’s businesses and tourism industry,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Copa Airlines to our great City.”

"We have been extremely impressed with the level of support we have received from everyone involved with our new Copa flight,” said Fernando Fondevila, Regional Commercial Manager for Copa Airlines for North America. "New Orleans really understands the importance of international air service in today’s global economy and the need for connectivity to Latin America.”

"International air service development has been a key focus of our entire team, and we look forward to welcoming Copa Airlines to our community,” stated New Orleans Aviation Board Chairwoman, Cheryl Teamer.

"This announcement is a momentous occasion for our City,” said New Orleans Councilman Jared Brossett, Chair of the Transportation and Aviation Committee. "This direct Panama flight with its connectivity to many Latin American cities is another sign that New Orleans is a thriving international destination.”

"We have been aggressively pursuing Copa Airlines for almost five years,” Director of Aviation Iftikhar Ahmad said. "Their announcement of service is a huge accomplishment for our entire region and will once again link New Orleans to all of Latin America.”

Flight CM 499 will depart New Orleans on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 6:55 a.m., arriving at Copa’s Hub of the Americas at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City at 10:19 a.m. The return flight, CM 498, will depart Panama Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 6:33 p.m., arriving in New Orleans at 10:02 p.m. All times are local; flight time is approximately three and a half hours.

Copa will operate a Boeing 737-700 Next-Generation aircraft on the flight, with seating for 12 passengers in Business Class and 112 in the main cabin. On-board service includes complimentary meals and beverages, including wines and spirits; a 12-channel audio-visual entertainment system in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with new movies monthly and complimentary headsets. Flight attendants are bilingual.

"GNO, Inc. is proud to have been an integral part of the outstanding team that is bringing Copa Airlines to New Orleans, reopening the Gateway to the Americas,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. "This fulfills one of our top priorities – to reconnect Greater New Orleans to its historical ties to Central and South America – and thus catalyze a broad range of growth opportunities for the businesses, ports, universities and hospitals of our region. We look forward to working with Copa Airlines, one of the best air carriers in the world, in order to make this flight a great success."

"In addition to its wealth of cultural attractions, history, world-renowned cuisine and its Mardi Gras celebration, the New Orleans area is home to a number of academic institutions with sizable Latin American student populations,” said Heilbron. "We expect Latin Americans to wholeheartedly embrace all that New Orleans has to offer and believe that our new flight will make a substantial contribution to tourism and economic development in general between Louisiana, Panama and the rest of the Latin American region.”

Established in 1947, Copa Airlines transported more than 11.6 million passengers in 2014.

About Copa Holdings, S.A.

Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading Latin American providers of passengers and cargo services. The airlines currently offer service to 70 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.During Copa Airlines’ more than 65 years of uninterrupted operations, it has transformed the Hub of the Americas in Panama into the leading hub on the continent. Copa operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry, consisting of 98 aircraft, and has an on-time performance of around 90 percent, on par with major airlines worldwide. Copareceived Skytrax awards for Best Airline and Best Cabin and Airport Crew in Central America and theCaribbeanin 2013.Copa is a member of Star Alliance, the leading global airline network, which currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1321 destinations in 193 countries. To make reservations, select seats, participate in the renowned frequent-flyer program MileagePlus, maintain a trip log, check in for flights, print boarding passes or purchase tickets through secure online transactions in 11 different currencies, visit

About Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is the primary commercial airport in the State of Louisiana serving over 80% of all passengers flying into the State. Armstrong International Airport is owned by the City of New Orleans. The New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB), an unattached board of the City of New Orleans, oversees the administration, operation, and maintenance of Armstrong International. With this announcement by Copa Airlines, the Airport now has 14 airlines providing service to 46 non-stop destinations, including four international destinations. A new world-class terminal complex is currently in the final design. The new North Terminal will be complete by May 2018 in time for the 300th anniversary of the City of New Orleans. For more information, please visit



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