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Monday, 21 November 2011
Copa, Avianca-Taca to join Star Alliance in April 2012
Copa Airlines 737-800. Courtesy, Boeing
Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbronn confirmed that Copa and Avianca-Taca will join Star Alliance in April 2012.
Speaking in Rio de Janeiro during the ALTA conference, Heilbronn told ATW, “We hope that Star carriers from overseas will fly into Panama City (PTY). But so far nothing is concrete right now.”
Earlier this year, the carrier increased arrival/departure banks to 6X-daily at its Hub of the Americas in PTY. Heilbronn said Copa will add 10 Boeing 737-800s next year as some 737s are paid off and could be parked, if necessary, he said.
The fast-growing airline showed no interest in the 737-900 series. Heilbronn also ruled out adding a long-haul fleet connecting PTY with Europe or Asia. “We have still many destinations available to expand in North and South America,” he said.
Copa Holdings, parent of Panama's Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia (formerly Aero Republica), posted third-quarter net income of $70.3 million, nearly on par with a $71.5 million net profit earned in the prior-year period. The carrier said full-year consolidated capacity will be 21% higher than 2010 capacity while 2012 capacity will increase another 20%.