By Larry Waight: Copa Airlines, Panama’s leading airline, will have its inaugural flight touch down in Belize Tuesday, December 8th and will now be offering flights to Belize for its passengers as part of its expansion efforts.
Lloyd Alvarez, Cahal Pech Village Resort Reservations Manager, who has been working in the tourism industry for over a decade said Copa Airlines will definitely increase overnight tourism arrivals from South America.
Copa Airlines will be offering two weekly flights to Belize City from Hub de la Americas, Panama City. With this new addition, Copa Airlines will now expand its route to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean with Belize being the seventh in Central America.
The addition of Belize to Copa’s route now means that the airline covers all of Central America and strengthens their regional leadership.
“The connectivity will open enormous opportunities for tourism and commercial development for this interesting Caribbean country, as well as allowing for tourists from the same region to have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism and commercial strengths Belize has to offer,” Copa Airlines Executive President Pedro Heilbron said.
Flight CM 281 will leave Belize City on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:17 p.m., arriving at ‘Hub de las Americas’ at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City at 5:34 p.m. The return flight, will leave Panama Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:29 a.m. arriving in Belize at 12:52 midday. All flights are local time and the flight time is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes.
For its direct flight to Belize, Copa will be operating a modern Embraer 190 aircraft with capacity for 94 passengers, 10 in Executive Class and 84 in the main cabin. This aircraft is characterized for having two seats in each side of the isle without a center seat, which makes it more attractive and comfortable for passengers.
From Hub de las Americas in Panama, Copa airlines offers more international flights than any other airline with a center of operations in this continent. The flight from Belize to Panama was programmed to provide convenient connection to Sao Paulo, Brazil; San Jose, Costa Rica; Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin in Colombia; Santiago de Chile, Chile; Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador; Managua, Nicaragua; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; Havana, Cuba; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Lima, Peru.
The passengers in transit will not need to pass through immigration or wait in a customs line, and their luggage will be checked at their final destination. In addition, Belizeans will have access to the top five biggest shopping malls in Latin America, a “Stop Over” two nights free of charge in Panama, and easier access to the Caribbean and Latin America for business and vacation.
Alvarez said he is proud of Belize’s tourism industry for remaining vibrant and partnering with Southwest Airlines, who also recently added a new route to Belize. Airfare to Belize has gone down by 20 percent this year compared to last year with Southwest’s introduction and low prices causing other airlines flying to Belize to lower their prices.
2016 looks to be an even better year for airfare as additional airlines, including Westjet, look to partner with Belize and increase air traffic to and from the country.
Alvarez said Cahal Pech looks forward to the increase in overnight arrivals as it will boost the local economy and help to strengthen the tourism industry, which accounts for 18 percent of the country’s GDP.
Cahal Pech Village Resort, located in the Cayo District is comprised of 23 palm thatched cabanas, 14 standard rooms, 5 spacious suites, 9 deluxe suites, 3 fresh water swimming pools, a restaurant that serves an assortment of gourmet flair, a fully stocked bar, a gift shop, a fleet of tour vehicles and a cadre of professional staff.
Families, honeymooners and adventure travelers use the resort as an ideal base to explore the amazing and wonderful ecotourism activities in San Ignacio Town. The resort is owned by Dan and Miriam Silva and has been in operation since 1995.
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