Charter business prepares for takeoff

Air Panama purchases two Boeing 737s

Air Panama’s newest addition, a Boeing 737-300, lands at Marcos A. Gelabert Airport in Albrook.

Air Panama’s newest addition, a Boeing 737-300, lands at Marcos A. Gelabert Airport in Albrook.

Air Panama is adding a pair of Boeing 737-300 jets to its fleet in order to allow passengers to take advantage of improvements being made to the many airports around the country. On Friday, August 9, the national airline received the first of the two jets from France. They will also serve international purposes, offering charters and possibly in the future regular flights to Central and South America and the Caribbean within their three-hour flight capacity.

The aircraft will be able to land at five national airports in addition to Tocumen International. They are: Howard, Marcos A. Gelabert (Albrook), Enrique Malek (David, Chiriqui), Scarlet Martinez (Rio Hato, Coclé) and Enrique Jimenez (Colon). The runway at Bocas Del Toro Airport in the Bocas del Toro province will need to be extended to serve this kind of aircraft. Bocas is instead served by the Fokker jets from Air Panama’s fleet.

The planes cost $10 million each and Air Panama expects to begin using them after 90 days when they have met the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority (AAC).

Air Panama’s General Manager, Eduardo Stagg said that the company bought the Boeings to offer its services to Panama’s tour operators who want to promote at international level the destinations such as Chiriqui, Pedasí and Rio Hato among others.

The General Director of the AAC, Captain Rafael Bárcenas took the opportunity to announce that the Rio Hato terminal will be opened in September and already Canadian airlines are demonstrating interest in flying to this destination. The Colón airport is scheduled to be finished this month.

Barcenas also announced that in September, the new Radar Control Center, which has the best modern aeronautical equipment, will also be inaugurated. It is among the most innovative of Latin America.

Air Panama employs 325 people and has a fleet of 20 aircraft. It has Panamanian pilots with a great amount of experience on Boeing 737-300s.

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