Copa Airlines announces its growth plans

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Copa Airlines announces its growth plans
Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines Source: Komunika LATAM
April 08, 2022

The Airline estimates to generate more than 1,300 direct jobs in Panama by the end of 2022, in different technical and administrative areas


Copa Airlines {NYSE: CPA}, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S. A and a member of the Star Alliance global airline network, shared a balance of its current situation, after two years of the pandemic, and the plans it is implementing to contribute with the strengthening of Panama's leadership as the Hub of the Americas®. The company invests to positively impact the economic recovery of the country, after being severely affected by the crisis that the airline industry has been facing since March 2020 due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Airline reported that, during 2021, it reactivated 100% of the employees who had been on leave since 2020 as a result of the temporary closure of operations that it faced as a result of the pandemic. Similarly, the company rehired more than 1,000 employees who had taken advantage of voluntary retirement plans and carried out more than 150 internal promotions, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth to the company's human talent.

“In our 75 years of operation, we have established ourselves as the leading airline in the region, making Panama the preferred connection in the Americas, shortening distances through the skies of our continent. Even though we have gone through two years with many challenges and are currently facing the oil price crisis, we are optimistic that we are on the right path to continue contributing to the economic and social development of Panama, taking advantage of its geographical position”, he commented. Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines.

The strategic lines that guide the Airline this 2022 are focused on strengthening the Hub of the Americas® as the main connection center in the region through the growth of its capacity, increase in its network of destinations and frequencies, modernization of the fleet and generation of employment opportunities; based on the management of a sustainable and efficient operation.

Growth plans
This 2022 Copa Airlines plans to continue increasing its capacity during the year, and by 2023 it expects to exceed 2019 levels by 9%.
Regarding its fleet, the Airline currently has 81 active aircraft, in addition to 3 aircraft still in temporary storage. By the end of 2022, it estimates to have received 8 new Boeing 737 MAX9 model aircraft, and it is expected that by 2023 it will reach a fleet of 100 aircraft, all Boeing 737 model.
Additionally, with the aim of expanding the impact and international strategic relevance of the Hub of the Americas®, as of June, Copa Airlines will incorporate the city of Barcelona into its network, the fourth destination it will operate in Venezuela; and Santa Marta, Colombia, the eleventh destination in that country. These cities join Atlanta in the US and Cúcuta and Armenia in Colombia, destinations inaugurated in December 2021.

Growth and development of Panamanian talent
By 2022, Copa Airlines plans to generate more than 1,300 direct jobs in Panama, in different technical and administrative areas. Subject to growth plans, the Airline projects a hiring need for 600 cabin crew, more than 300 pilots, more than 200 employees for operating positions, more than 120 aviation mechanics and more than 120 professionals for administrative positions.

In order to meet the demand for qualified labor, Copa Airlines has been promoting the Latin American Superior Aviation Academy (ALAS) since 2013, a non-profit institution dedicated to training young Panamanians to be commercial pilots, fulfilling the highest educational standards and the strictest international regulations.

ALAS has 92 active students. It is estimated that in 2022 more than 60 new pilots will graduate, and in 2023 the goal of 100 new students per year will be reached. The career plan contemplates that, once they complete their training, they will join the Copa Airlines pilot team.

In relation to the demand for aviation mechanics, increased by the Company's Maintenance Center inaugurated in 2019, since 2014 Copa Airlines has promoted the Academy of Aeronautical Technicians (ATA), which aims to train highly trained personnel in maintenance and inspection of aeronautical systems, under local and international quality standards. This 2022 is expected to graduate 94 students who will join the Airline team. This program recruits youth from Panamanian technical and vocational schools and is offered at no cost to the student.

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