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Boston Welcomes Copa Airlines With Reception

Apr 15, 2013 10:43 AM EDT

Copa Airlines will begin flying from Boston to South America on July 10, with an inaugural flight leaving Logan Airport at 9:54 a.m.

The airline will fly from North to South America through its center point in Panama each day on a Boeing 737 that seats 124 passengers.

Boston is currently the biggest U.S. outlet lacking nonstop flights in Latin America. According to Boston.com, upwards of 400,000 fliers traveled between Boston and 50 cities in Central and South America in 2011.

Without direct service to Latin America, passengers flying out of the Atlantic Northeast had to connect in Miami. Naturally, a direct flight means less time wasted on the ground dealing with the crowds and hoards of security.

"The connecting service through Panama City is so much easier and so seamless that it's like the next best thing to having nonstop service into Brazil, Argentina and Colombia," said president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, Patrick Moscaritolo.

"Our new partnership with Copa Airlines grows the global reach of Boston and Logan by connecting New England with Latin America," Thomas Glynn, chief executive of the Massachusetts Port Authority told the Boston Globe in January when the merger was first announced.

Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron and his marketing team paid Boston a visit last Wednesday, when the East Boston Neighborhood Health and Massport hosted a reception in Maverick Square.

"It's the first time opening six markets in the U.S. that a governor has welcomed us," said Heilbron, who added that all parties involved with the merger were pleased with the reception.

Copa serves 65 locations in 29 different countries. Last year, Copa flew 10.1 million passengers. It is one of the few airlines to still offer free meals and drinks on its flights.  

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