New Low-Cost Airline In Panama


VivaColombia brings competition and lower ticket prices to Central America, including low-cost airline in Panama

Competition just got hotter thanks to new flight options from VivaColombia, a low-cost airline operating in Central and South America.

Historically, travelers have been paying more than US$400 for a round trip flight from Panama City, Panama, to Bogota, Colombia. VivaColombia penetrated the market cutting ticket prices in half.

VivaColombia $148.02

CopaAir $489.90

The news was publicized by Dublin-Based Irelandia Aviation Grupo IAMSA, owners of VivaColombia and the investment group that developed Ryanair in 1985 and Singapore based Tiger Airways. Irelandia is looking at Latin America as a massive opportunity for low- cost carriers, and, with the company’s track record, there is a high potential for success in Panama and the region. The Commercial Vice President of VivaColombia, William Shaw, provided an announcement about the expansion saying, “We are conversing with other countries in the region because from our point of view Central America ​needs a low-cost airline.”

Since the opening of new VivaColombia routes in August, travelers have the pleasure of paying up to 70% less on tickets compared with Copa Airline prices.

Flights are in two formats: an everyday roundtrip service between Bogota and Panama and evening flights Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays between Medellin and Panama.

It appears VivaColombia has poached some talent from Copa Airlines, with Joe Mohan, a former Continental Airlines executive, joining the group over the summer. Mohan helped plan Copa Airlines explosive and profitable growth.

Panama is only the beginning of VivaColombia’s expansion and is opening the door for further movement into other countries in Central America. Shaw opened his discussions with the Salvadorian government this month, stating, “We are happy to find out what the expectations are of the Salvadorian government and how they can help us grow and implement the low-cost model in El Salvador.

For more information related to Panama, check out the monthly Panama Letter for more.


About Author

Kat Kalashian

At the age of 8 Kaitlin moved to Waterford, Ireland, then to Paris, France, at age 14. Having graduated high school with an International Baccalaureate degree, she moved back to the United States for university. Awarded with Summa Cum Laude honors upon graduation, she wasted no time in moving back out of the United States. She has now lived in Panama for several years with her husband, American cat, and Panamanian dog. She loves living in Panama because of the bang-for-your-buck quality of life, the active lifestyle promoted by living on the Cinta Costera, and the year-round tanning weather.