Panama: connectivity is just the beginning of a very diverse offer – from “The Visitor” – Panama’s English Weekly Tourism Newspaper. Oct 31
Panama is the best-connected country in the Americas, on both national and international scales, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). With 54 airports and runways throughout the 75,000 square miles of national territory and the best connectivity from an international hub in the Americas at the Tocumen International Airport, travelers not only have the diverse tourism on offer within the country at their fingertips, but international connectivity as well.
Copa airlines, ‘Hub of the Americas’ at the Tocumen International Airport fly to 66 destinations in 29 countries and also have alliances to other companies such as Avianca, South African Airlines and Air China to mention a few. Other European companies like KLM, Iberia, Condor and Air France also go directly from Panama to Europe.
Connectivity will increase significantly as the international airport expansion plans include serving 18 million passengers in transit in the coming decade. Over $200 million has been invested over the last three years in restructuring the national airport network alone. Airports in Albrook, David, Colón and Río Hato received the most attention with new control towers, widening of runways, new buildings and customs facilities so these airports can begin to receive international flights.
The hub for national flights is at the Marcos Gelabert Airport, in the Albrook neighborhood of Panama City, from where many national flights and some international flights are available on Air Panama. Helicopters and light planes are available there for charter.
Air Panama travel all over the country including Las Perlas Archipelago in the Pacific, San Blas on the Caribbean, the Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí provinces in the west of the country as well as the surfing paradise of Pedasí in the central province of Los Santos.
Another important terminal that will bring tourists to the Pacific beaches is the Scarlett Martinez Airport; located in the Cocle province, a few minutes from the beach resorts of Bijao, Playa Blanca, Farallon and Decameron. It is designed to allow the landing of Boeing 757-200 crafts with a capacity for up to 228 passengers.
The Scarlett Martínez Airport is going to be inaugurated on November 14, 2013 and already chartered flights from Canada and the United States are planning to use the airport.