Copa Airlines today announced delivery of a new Boeing 737-700 “Next Generation” aircraft, part of the second phase of its fleet renewal, which includes a total of four new aircraft this year.
The aircraft comes equipped with a sophisticated flight deck instrument called Vertical Situation Display (VSD). Copa is the first airline in the Americas to incorporate advanced VSD technology. Developed by Boeing, the world`s leading commercial airplane company, VSD is an advanced system that builds on an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning system, which provides pilots a clear view of the airplane`s current and predicted flight path. All new Copa Airlines aircraft will be equipped with the VSD system, which will be incorporated into the existing fleet in the next few months.
This new stage in the modernization of Copa Airlines represents a commitment of approximately $650 million toward delivery of aircraft, to be completed by October 2003.
“We continue to carry out the modernization program of our operational infrastructure that now puts us among the most modern fleets in the world,” said Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron. “Our purpose is to remain the most attractive commercial aviation option in the region.”
The Boeing 737-700 has capacity for 124 passengers, 12 in Business Class (Clase Ejecutiva) and 112 in the main cabin. The aircraft has spacious interiors with large overhead compartments, seats with adjustable headrests and a 12-channel audio and video entertainment system.
The new Boeing 737-700, equipped with high-tech “winglets,” is faster, quieter, and more fuel-efficient. The aircraft can reach an altitude of 41,000 feet—higher than any other aircraft in its class. In addition, it can transport up to 6,000 additional pounds of cargo and reduces motor maintenance costs.
Copa Airlines has a strategic alliance with Continental Airlines, including participation in Continental`s award-winning frequent flyer program OnePass(R). Members of the program may earn miles on either Copa or Continental flights, as well as the opportunity to redeem miles for tickets, upgrades, and merchandise.
With more than 55 years of experience, Copa Airlines (copaair.com) flies to 30 destinations in 20 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In November 2002, PODER Magazine, Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Egon Zehnder International gave Copa the “Best Regionalization in Latin America” award, and in December of that same year, the Central American Tourism Federation gave Copa Airlines the “Turismo Sin Fronteras” (Tourism Without Boundaries) award. In April 2003 Copa received AirFinance Journal`s first-ever “Developing Airline of the Year” Award.
From its base at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Copa Airlines operates the Hub of the Americas, one of the most efficient and successful hubs in Latin America. In 2003, the airline expects to transport 1.3 million passengers.