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Canadians land in Rio Hato. The Scarlett Martinez International Airport, located in Rio Hato, Cocle province, near the Pacific beaches received 18,223 tourists from Canada during the first three months of 2016, while in the same period in 2015 7,713 arrived.
The airport was re-opened on November 13, 2013. However, it received the first charter flight on April 4, 2014 with the arrival of passengers from Sunwing Airlines, which transported passengers from Canada in 2015 and the first three months of 2016. Sunwing Airlines offers commercial and charter flights to more than 60 countries.
Air Transat A.T.INC, another Canadian charter airline with flights to 25 countries, has also regularly transported travelers to Rio Hato since November 3, 2015.
Both airlines fly from Toronto, Montreal (Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport), Bagotville and Quebec in the high season.
All these flights have as the main destination the Pacific beaches. Previously the charter flights used to land at the Tocumen International Airport which meant tourists had a drive of one hour to reach their final destination.
The tourist attractions that Panama offers such as its beaches, culture, gastronomy, shopping and night-life, as well as a facelift to its infrastructure has awakened the interest of bigger airlines which provide charter flights to Central America.
Rio Hato, Colón and the Azuero region have become the perfect engine for the development of the national economy, because of the tourist activity created in those places.