Belize’s tourism footprint is set to expand drastically into Central and South America. That’s because the Panamanian air carrier, Compaía Panameña de Aviación (COPA) will be making direct flights here.
On Tuesday, December 8, the first flight from Hub de La Americas, Panama City, Flight #281, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport a few minutes short of 1 p.m. That flight brought 92 passengers from that country. It was very routine, and almost mundane, in the landing in Belizean territory, for COPA Airlines, this only their 7th destination in Central America that they fly direct to.
Said Pedro Heilbron, Executive President for COPA Airlines commented: “With our flight to Belize we expect to amplify the opportunities of development in the business and tourism sectors in this city, while improving in an important manner the connectivity of the country to Latin America.” The company was represented at the official inauguration ceremony by Mr. Adolfo Sen, Director of Sales COPA Airlines. Present as well was the Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ambassador Marta Irene Boza, Ambassador of Panama in Belize, and Mr. Jorge Espat, Managing Director of Belize Airport Concession and Co.
As one of the main speakers, Minister Heredia told the gathering, “COPA and Belize have partnered and have committed to investing the essential time and resources needed to develop an invaluable relationship, which will serve as the catalyst for attracting South American tourists to Belize, and in turn result in the expansion of Belize’s tourism industry.” Shortly after that a ribbon was cut by the VIP’s to ceremonially open the direct flight.
It is scheduled twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. The aircrafts depart Panama at 11:29 a.m and arrive in Belize at 12:52 p.m., 2 and a half hours later. The flight then leaves Belize at around 5:34 p.m. in the evening. With the addition of Belize, COPA now has a flight to a total of 74 destinations in 31 countries in The Caribbean, North, and Central & South America.