NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Copa Airlines announced Thursday it will begin nonstop service four times a week between New Orleans, La., and Panama, Republic of Panama, beginning 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
"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."
"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."
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.