In a recent deal with Boeing, Panama’s national airliner, Copa, has signed off on a US$6.6 billion deal to purchase 61 new 737 Max 9 jets.
The deal, say trade officials, is the largest-ever financial transaction between a Panamanian company and U.S company and was announced during the Summit of the Americas in Panama City. Copa Chief Executive Pedro Heilbron and Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney signed the agreement at a ceremony attended by President Barack Obama and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela.
“Boeing’s 737 Next Generation airplanes are the backbone of our current fleet,” said Heilbron in a press conference. “Our order for the 737 MAX airplanes is reflective of our ongoing commitment to the future—a commitment to connect people throughout North, South, and Central America, using the most modern, most efficient airplanes in the sky, via the Hub of the Americas in Panama City.”
“Copa has a history of leading the way for Latin America’s aviation industry, and this order shows their dedication to continuous improvement in performance, customer satisfaction, and efficiency,” said McNerney.
The 737s will join the fleet in 2017, and Copa will be the first airline to fly the new planes on South American routes. According to Copa, the jets are 14% more fuel efficient than the 737s in the current fleet.
Currently, Copa flies to more than 70 destinations in 30 countries.