Copa will buy 13 new planes
PANAMA. Copa Airlines has signed a $1 billion contract for aircraft manufacturer Boeing to buy thirteen 737-800 airplanes, plus options...
PANAMA. Copa Airlines has signed a $1 billion contract for aircraft manufacturer Boeing to buy thirteen 737-800 airplanes, plus options for an additional eight.
The order represents a mixture of option conversions and new orders and brings to 27 the number of Boeing Next-Generation 737s the airline has on order.
Copa’s executive president Pedro Heilbron said that the new airplanes will allow the airline to expand its area of operation with more frequent flights to different destinations.
Heilbron said that “The Boeing 737s have been a major factor in Copa’s success, providing us with operating and cost efficiencies, and enabling us to offer our passengers world-class service and an extensive route network throughout Latin America.
“The aircraft order reaffirms our confidence in our business model and the growth potential of Latin American aviation,” said Copa Executive president.
The new planes will have installed “blended winglets”, which are extensions put at the end of the wings and can decrease the fuel usage between 3.5 to four percent in flights which are over 1000 nautical miles.
The airplanes also will be outfitted with Boeing’s signature Sky Interior.
Drawing from years of research used to design the interior for the 787 Dreamliner, the 737 Boeing Sky Interior features new, 787-style sculpted sidewalls and windows that provide passengers with a greater connection to the flying experience.
The Next-Generation 737 is claimed to be the most technologically advanced airplane in its class flying higher, faster and farther than previous models.
In addition, its flight deck features the latest liquid-crystal flat-panel displays and is designed to accommodate new communications and flight-management capacity. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Carson said that Copa Airlines continues to be successful in a very challenging economic environment through the use of the latest in commercial aviation technology.
President Ricardo Martinelli said that the destiny of Copa is tied to Panama, because this airlines moves around two million passengers a year and each plane in the fleet generates 102 jobs and that more companies should follow it example.
Martinelli also asked Heildron to consider supporting the opening of an international airport in the interior to attract more visitors to the country.
The President said that Copa should also encourage young people in Panama so they can become pilots for that airline, which has been forced to employ foreigners because they are not enough professionals, who can fill the positions.
Copa operates from Tocumen International Airport, a time-saving hub on long routes between the United States, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. It flies four of the world's longest 737 routes from there -- to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Sao Paulo and Los Angeles.
The first order will be delivered in 2012 and the last one 2017.