GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) -- COPA Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama, officially made Guyana its 67th destination after it touched down at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on Friday, inaugurating a direct link between Panama and Georgetown, Guyana.
Beginning Friday, COPA started 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.
The 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,” Benn noted during a welcoming ceremony at the CJIA lounge.
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.
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 Airlines moved over 11 million passengers in 2013, with 360 daily scheduled flights to 30 countries.