The issuance of an airline ticket New York-Panama, Panama-Bocas del Toro or Chiriqui could be a reality within the next 12 months if Copa Airlines and Air Panama agree to share codes.
A source close to the negotiations said that for the last 15 days the representatives of both companies sat down to talk about the possibility of an alliance and have set a maximum of two weeks from the date, to finalize the partnership.
If they reached an agreement passengers traveling with Copa airlines from 45 destinations that the company operates would arrive at Tocumen International Airport and board a plane from Air Panama to travel to the city of David or Bocas del Toro with a single ticket.
Copa Airlines thus enter the business of domestic flights from the hand of Air Panama, while the latter would be ensure many passengers because of the alliance.
If Copa Airlines and Air Panama materialize this connection, flights would begin late 2010 or mid next year.
On the other hand, if the agreement fails, there is the possibility that Copa Airlines would individually target the local business and rent or buy small aircraft that carry the logo of the company to operate the route.
Copa’s interest by the domestic market is such that the company sent a letter to the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama on the points that need to be improved at the three airports that would be linked in this connection, Tocumen airport, Enrique Malek Airport in Chiriqui and Isla Colon Airport in Bocas del Toro.
They recommended that the Tocumen airport terminal a separate registry point is created for those who would make the transfer to Chiriqui or Bocas del Toro.
Also, Copa Airlines considers it important to have special parking for these passengers and baggage transfer point directly to the small aircraft to prevent passengers from passing again by the security checkpoints.
In relation to the airports in Bocas del Toro and Enrique Malek in the province of Chiriqui, the Civil Aviation Organization (OACI) has recommended building a perimeter fence to prevent access to people and animals to the runway and the installation of X-ray equipment to check the baggage.
Also been asked to increase the number of customs and immigration agents and implement a contingency plan for avian risk, as well as installing a fire station.
In the specific case of Bocas del Toro was asked to appoint a surgeon at the hospital in Isla Colon to meet passengers in the event of a medical emergency.
Article courtesy of La Prensa Newspaper and Panama Travel Group