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Jun 15, 2018

Tropic Air Joins Forces with Copa Airlines for Flights to South America

COPA airlines and Tropic Air have signed off an agreement that will potentially increase the number of visitors to Belize. COPA already has two weekly flights to Belize and will now be able to promote travel to the Jewel by South American nationals. The agreement allows persons to book domestic flights through COPA travel agents. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today in San Pedro, Tropic Air and COPA Airlines announced their new partnership to connect South American visitors to Belizean destinations across the country.

 

John Greif III

John Greif III, President, Tropic Air

“As some of the other countries in the region have found out, Latin American visitors—including those from our neighboring countries—are important and spend just as much as the North Americans. It is a very very important part of the sector and they also travel off season, compared to North America which is a huge thing.”

 

Chistophe Didier

Chistophe Didier, Vice President, Global Sales, COPA Airlines

“What this partnership gives us between Tropic and COPA is the ability for the customer to book directly with his travel agency a domestic destination in Belize, not only the Phillip Goldson International Airport. And most customers we have to recognize, especially in Latin America, they don’t know Belize really. They know that there is a country named Belize and they know that there is an international airport, but it is hard to find information on how to fly to other destinations where they want to go. So now they will be able to book from any of the COPA Destinations into say, here in San Pedro with a single process and it will be a single ticket. So they will buy only one ticket from end to end. And then the luggage also which is important also will be transported from the start of the journey until the end of the journey.”

 

This new venture comes thirty months after COPA Airlines established flights to the Phillip Goldson International Airport back in December 2015. Christophe Didier shares how the traffic has grown since then.

 

Christophe Didier

“It’s been well; we have made some progress from last year. It was a rough start because Belize was not on the map for Latin America—let’s be honest—but in two and a half years, we have made some significant progress. We are starting to see some good results so we are happy with results in Belize.”

 

This partnership has been in the pipeline for the past five years. Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Junior says that already from the inception of the twice-a-week COPA flights to Belize, there are marked increases in South American visitors to the Jewel. So this milestone is simply the icing on the cake.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation

“South American travelers, there was an increase of thirty-three point three percent and Europeans. Because again of COPA, they come from Europe to Panama then to Belize the same day; then there was an increase of seventeen point eight percent on those arrivals. And I believe that it will continue to improve as B.T.B. continues work to market together with COPA.  It makes it easier for passengers, it makes it easier for airlines and it makes it easier for us as a government. So I applaud the efforts of COPA and Tropic and I hope that other stakeholders would do likewise with partner to partner, business to business; I encourage them to do so.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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