Solid results for COPA and Tocumen

By Charlotte Turner |

Tocumen International Airport set new passenger handling records as Panama’s principal international gateway last year.


The airport authority reports that it handled 7,784,328 passengers compared to 6,962,608 in 2012, an increase of 11.8% and it has already started major construction of the South Pier that will significantly increase capacity at the airport.


The new pier will cost $679m and will be financed mainly by a $650m bond issued by the company last year. Once completed in 2017, the new facilities will double the capacity of the airport to 16m.


Last November, Air France commenced a direct service to Paris from Panama Airport. This year, Portuguese airline TAP will start a Lisbon service in March and Aeromexico will start to fly to Mexico City. At the end of the second quarter,  the airport’s managers are hopeful that Lufthansa will begin direct flights to Germany.


The key to the success of Tocumen Airport has been the growth of Copa Airlines. This has just announced record profit figures for 2013 and last month it reported operating income of US$518.5m for full year 2013, representing an increase of 28.8% over operating income of US$402.5m in 2012.



Operating margin for the full year 2013 came in at 19.9%, as compared to an operating margin of 17.9% in 2012.


Copa also announced that it will add flights to Georgetown in Guyana, Fort Lauderdale in Florida and Montreal in Canada in the second quarter, making a total of 69 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.


With one of the youngest fleets in the Americas it will add eight new Boeing 737-800 jets in 2014, increasing its fleet to 98 – mostly Boeing 737NG jets. It transported more than 11.3m passengers in 2013.


“Our sustained growth in recent years has allowed us to reinforce our leadership in the region and to continue the Hub of the Americas’ position as the most successful and efficient hub for travel to and from, as well as within, Latin America,” explained Copa CEO Pedro Heilbron.


“Our success has benefited Latin America, and has stimulated business and the creation of new jobs and investment 
in Panama.”


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