Copa Bahamas/Panama flights to begin June 15
Non-stop service connecting Nassau to the’Hub of the Americas’in Panama will begin on June 15, Copa Airlines revealed recently.
The service will link Nassau to Copa’s network of 49 destinations in 27 countries across North America, South America and the Caribbean region. Four weekly flights are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, with flights scheduled to depart from Panama City at 9:18 a.m. and arrive in Nassau just after 1:00 p.m. Returning flights on the travel days are scheduled to leave the capital at 3:25 p.m and arrive in Panama at 5:02 p.m.
In addition to the obvious benefits to the tourism sector from the link to the Latin American market, the news is also welcomed by many in the financial services sector seeking to improve market share in the Latin American markets.
A check on the Copa Airlines website, www.copaair.com, revealed that for some flights the’economy promo’segments were already sold out. Prices for round-trip travel, inclusive of fuel surcharges, taxes and fees, were observed from around$600 to over$900, with most around the$600-$700 range.
Customers who connect through Panama to come to The Bahamas do not have to go through immigration and customs, and according to the airline customers, enjoy 90 percent on-time performance and complimentary on-board service including meals, soft drink, wines and spirits.
Sources previously toldThe Guardianthat The Bahamas had been lobbying for the route for years, and that in December 2010 a final pitch was made by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, various tourism promotion boards and the Nassau Airport Development Company. Copa currently services other Caribbean region destinations, including Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Steps have been taken to prepare the country for increased business from the Latin American region. The Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Hotel Association held a workshop at the British Colonial Hilton on March 9 under the theme”Preparing to Better Service the Latin American Market.”The conference was geared at better understanding the market and what it could mean for The Bahamas.