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A Copa 737-800 in Las Vegas (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Tocumen International Airport and Copa Airlines Adjust Facilities to Restart Operations

On June 17, the Civil and Aeronautical Authority extended for the third time, the suspension of international flights until July 23. International flights have been suspended since March 22, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 12, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published an open letter to the authorities of Latin America and the Caribbean. The letter outline plans to collaborate in the prompt application of the ‘Take-off’ guidance recommendations, and take the necessary measures to identify all opportunities where travel restrictions could be canceled as soon as epidemiological situations allow.

Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Americas, said through a virtual press conference that the situation is worrying. “Panama runs the risk of falling behind other regional centers that have received the support of their authorities. The government has not taken any initiative or given financial support to provide tangible relief to the aviation industry,” he stated.

While Copa Airlines awaits the restart of operations at Tocumen International Airport, the Panamanian airline and the airport, known as “The Hub of the Americas”, continue carrying out joint communication actions to inform passengers how they prepare to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the airport and aircraft.

Recently the main Panamanian carrier published a video, in which it shows the sanitary and hygiene measures that will be carried out once the airline resume operations. For its part, the main Panamanian airport also issued a video, which demonstrates how will be the new procedures stated at the airport.

These new measures are the collocation of sanitizing moisture in different parts of the airport, the installation of a camera to evaluate passengers’ temperature, placement of signs on the floor and seats to respect social distancing, installation of protective barriers on counters, high contact surfaces disinfection, etc.

According to La Estrella de Panamá, Copa Airlines plans to reactivate commercial flights on August 7. As informed in May, the airline announced the restart of operations for July 3, with 12% of its fleet capacity, with the aim of reaching 40% of its fleet capacity by the end of the year. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has increased in the Central American country, and for that reason, the Panamanian government decided to prolong the suspension of flights.

As a21 published, the Panamanian carrier plans to resume operations to Ciudad de México, and Guadalajara since August 7 with two flights per week for each destination. On the same date, the airline will resume operations to Cancun with one flight per week. In the case of Monterrey, the operations will resume on September 18 with two weekly flights. Operations to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Washington, Montreal and Toronto will be resume since August 7.

In the case of South America, Copa Airlines will resume operations to Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Suriname and Guyana since August 7. Flights to Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina will wait until September. Operations to Brazil will be resumed on August 7 with two flights per week to their destinations in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Río de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Finally, operations to Peru will have to wait until November.

In the case of Central America, operations to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti and Dominican Republic, San Marteen, Honduras, Costa Rica, San Salvador and Puerto Rico will be resumed in August.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
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