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Our History

Copa Airlines b
egan operations in 1947 with domestic flights to three cities within the Republic of Panama, with a fleet of 3 Douglas C-47.


nternational services began with three weekly flights to San Jose, Kingston, Barranquilla and Medellin, with an AVRO 748 and an ELECTRA 188.


Guatemala was added as a destination and domestic flights were eliminated, becoming an international airline.  


Copa Airlines acquired its first B 737-100 aircraft and added flights to Cartagena, Port-au-Prince, Santo Domingo, San Juan, and Miami.


New destinations were added including Mexico City, Santiago, Cali, Bogota, Montego Bay, Quito, Guayaquil, Lima, Buenos Aires, and Havana.   In 1998, Copa Airlines and Continental Airlines created a strategic alliance, one of the most important in Latin American aviation.


In 2000 began flights to Cancun, Orlando, Sao Paulo, San Andres and Los Angeles. The Presidents Club in Tocumen International Airport in Panama City was inaugurated.

In 2003, Copa Airlines and Continental Airlines broaden their codeshare agreement from 27 to 127 flights throughout the United States and Central America.

In 2004, Copa signed a purchase agreement for Embraer 190 airplanes, with a firm order for 10 and an option for 20 additional.



  • November 2002: Best Regionalization in Latin America Award, PODER Magazine, Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Egon Zehnder International.
  • December 2002: "Tourism without Borders" Award, Federation of Tourism Chambers of Central America.
  • April 2003: "Developing Airline of the Year” Award, AirFinance Journal.
  • April 2004: Best Airline in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Award, SkyTrax, based on a worldwide passenger survey.
  • June 2004: Among the 25 Best Employers in Latin America, Revista América Economía.

Currently Copa Airlines’ fleet is composed of 30 Boeing 737-700's, 737-800's, and Embraer 190; serving 36 destinations in 21 countries, making it the youngest fleet in the Americas.         







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