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Date: 23 May, 2018
Source: The Barbados Advocate

A new gateway has been opened with the introduction of a twice-weekly flight from Copa Airlines out of Panama City, not only bringing new visitors but also facilitating cultural and historic linkages and creating more commercial opportunities for Barbados.

Recently, industry officials came together at the Hilton Barbados Resort to celebrate the new flight CM 0260, which is scheduled to touch down at the Grantley Adams International Airport from Tocumen International Airport on July 17. As officials revealed, all the seats on this inaugural flight have been fully booked.

Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) Director – Caribbean & Latin American, Corey Garrett told the gathering, “We have a prime opportunity to not only solidify Destination Barbados’ place within this emerging market, but to also capitalise on the wide prospects for connectivity throughout the region. He stressed however that the team will not be able to maintain those markets alone but will be heavily dependent on support to increase the arrivals within the Caribbean and Latin American market.

Garrett explained that the BTMI has been preparing inbound and outbound marketing strategies. “I am happy to announce that we are targeting over 70 per cent load factor for the first three months, which surpassed our initial targets set at 50 per cent of the operation,” he said.

The new service will be arriving on Tuesdays and Fridays and will feature 84 economy seats and ten business class seats. Garrett says this service will be a major attraction for romance and business travelers alike.

Chairman of the BTMI, Alvin Jemmott also commended the new service to Barbados, which is a member of the Star Alliance. Copa Airlines is the flag carrier for Panama and one of the leading Latin American carriers for passenger and cargo services to countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

“Its hub in the Americas is strategically located in Tocumen International airport in Panama and offers more destinations and frequency than any other hub in Latin America and more connectivity and connections than in any other airport in the region.

“Latin American market has huge potential and we have very high hopes for this new Copa flight and there is a very strong historic connection between the Republic of Panama and we look forward to capitalising on this increasing both inbound and outbound arrivals between Bridgetown and Panama.”

“There are many Panamanians with antecedents and there are many Barbadians who want to go to Panama. And we look forward to forging this very strong and lasting relationship between us and partners down South,” he said.