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Panama is attracting all kinds of airlines, especially now that the airports in David, Chiriquí province, and the Río Hato, in the Coclé are being renovated. Following the footsteps of the economy airlines in Europe and United States such as Easy Jet and JetBlues Airlines. A group of companies are planning to bring a new economy airline to Panama to provide a low-cost category of flights to and from the country. According to the blog EcoCircuitos Panama stated that the idea is to establish flexible-frequency (with seasonal differences in frequency) air traffic connections to various inland and Latin America destinations, to allow customers to book hotels or rental cars in addition to their flight, and also to offer the possibility of charter flights.
The company migth operate three Boeing 767’s, one of which will be equipped with all-business seats for charter, several Boeing 737’s, and various smaller aircraft for regional flights. Proposed destinations outside of Panama include Sao Paulo (Brazil), San Jose (Costa Rica), Caracas (Venezuela), Cancun (Mexico), Lima (Peru), Bogota (Colombia), Punta Cana (Mexico) and several US destinations.
The availability of additional aircraft for popular inland destinations such as San Blas or Bocas del Toro, as well as the added accessibility of affordable flights into the country from major cities in the US and Latin America would add substantial carrying capacity for leisure and business travelers and could increase tourism to and inside Panama significantly. The proposal also includes the plan to support the development of Panama Pacifico airport.
Most low-cost carriers operate aircraft configured with a single passenger class, and most operate just a single type of aircraft. In the past, low-cost carriers tended to operate older aircraft, such as the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and older models of the Boeing 737. Since 2000 fleets generally consist of newer, more fuel efficient aircraft, commonly the Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 families. These are extremely efficient aircraft terms of fuel, training, maintenance and crew costs per passenger.
Like the major carriers, many low-cost carriers develop one or more bases to maximize destination coverage and defend their market. Many do not operate traditional hubs, but rather focus cities.
Aircraft often operate with a minimum set of optional equipment, further reducing costs of acquisition and maintenance, as well as keeping the weight of the aircraft lower and thus saving fuel