Not many airlines have worn their liveries out more than seven times and are still operating in their original names. Copa Airlines is one of those which have a long history in the skies. What begun as just a domestic carrier currently has a remarkable fleet size and employs a work force of 9000.
Copa Airlines was started on June 21st 1944 but did not begin operations until 15th August 1947. It is the brainchild of a small group of prominent Panamanian investors who used the help of Pan American World Airways to get their airline off the ground. Initially, it serviced domestic destinations using a small fleet of Douglas DC-3s. The airline began servicing international destinations at the onset of the 70s with scheduled flights to cities in Columbia, Jamaica and Costa Rica. It expanded gradually in the 1990s and had more destinations added to its catalog. The airline started its domestic operations again in 2015 and is expected to service more destinations around the world taking into account that it has an order for 87 Boeing’s.
Before the introduction of the Embraer 190 in 2005, Copa Airlines flight had previously operated an all-Boeing fleet. Of its 103 airplanes, 77 are Boeings and only 26 Embraer 190s. Currently, there is not a single Boeing 737 MAX in its fleet but it has an enormous order for 61. It is anticipated that Copa intends to phase out the Embraer 190 section of its fleet by returning the airplanes to their respective leasers. By mid-2017, the airline is expected to have gone back to an all-Boeing fleet.
Copa Airlines services 74 destinations in 31 countries. These are mostly in North America, South America and the Caribbean Islands. It recently went back to servicing domestic destinations and has been adding several others of late. Currently, it is known to operate more than 326 scheduled flights daily making it one of the busiest Latin American airlines.
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Copa Airlines has a two-class cabin configuration. Passengers can pick a choice between business and economy flights. Some of the extras business class passengers enjoy are such as priority boarding, Access to the airlines lounges and VIP catering. The business class seat also has a power outlet which can be used to charge your laptop.
Copa Airlines has personal entertainment in all classes. It is powered by AVOD (Audio Video on Demand) which allows access to a wide assortment of movies, TV shows and music. Some planes have radio antennas which allow passengers to listen to music and instrumentals from 12 channels.
Copa Airlines has a very good baggage allowance policy. They will haul your baggage at no extra charge as long as it does not exceed the standard 32 kg weight. If your baggage weighs more, a cumulative fee will be charged for every extra kilogram. Note that the airline has different baggage policies for different itineraries.
In its history, Copa Airlines has received several accolades. Below are just a few notable ones.