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Panama’s Copa Airlines to Invest $1.3 Billion in Expansions

Article Summary:

Copa Airlines will be expanding in the coming years with a total investment of $1.3 billion which includes the acquisition of several new aircraft including 10 Boeing 737-800, in order to complete a fleet of 79 craft.

Original Article Text From Prensa Libre via Google Translate :

Copa Airlines Prepares Expansion

Directors of the training center the airline has built on the banks of the Panama Canal with an investment of over U.S. $ 50 million, reported the expansion plans of the company to a group of foreign press correspondents. Captain Javier Faeth, a Costa Rican pilot who is the manager of the training center opened seven years ago, said Copa has 984 pilots of all types of nationalities and Russian, Danish, Italian, English and of all America, and more than 1 000 200 employees support in the cabin, who undergo constant training and evaluation.
Copa will received eight new Boeing 737-800 “Next Generation”, and two more will arrive in the remainder of 2012 to complete 79 units, while another 36 aircraft will arrive between 2013 and 2018, in anticipation of growth in destinations in the Caribbean, South America and the United States, representing more than U.S. $ 1 billion 300 million in investment.

Currently, 85 new hires complete their training, about nine months, to start flying with them. “The pilots also undergo every six months to eight hours of recurrent training and evaluation and, if they do, they lose their license,” said Faeth, who has experience 35 years in the industry. Annually Cup invests $ 7 million in training, said the manager, who stressed that “Panama is now the benchmark for other countries” of the continent, its development in the investigation of civilian pilots with the government support and ongoing maintenance by the manufacturers of simulators, CAE and Mechtronix, Canada.

Said that between 1.5 and 2 percent of drivers fail the exam, which considered an index “quite low” mostly at the beginning of training, including simulation of all mechanical failures or difficulties of any flight. Copa in 2012 plans to hire another 200 pilots and over 400 in the next three years. After showing the three modern simulators , one for flight training in the Brazilian Embraer aircraft and two Boeing aircraft, the manager stressed that the Panamanian company which has a modern fleet of aircraft in America.

Stressed that the Copa is the most advanced training center for pilots with simulators in Latin America, environmentally friendly and occasionally leased Embraer aircraft simulator at the Air Force of Colombia (by the Air Force) to Ecuador’s TAME, TACA, Avianca of Colombia, Argentina and Austral Mexican Aeromexico, who bring their own trainers. The investment in this center allows the company to increase the productivity of drivers and have more seats available for sale, because they no longer have to travel to other countries to train, he said.

In Salvador Taca and Avianca installed a simulator and it has in Colombia, while LAN is ending one in Lima, Faeth said. On the other hand, the chief flight instructor staff, the Panamanian Fredt Omlin, said more than 1,200 employees Cabin undergo annual training ranging from safety procedures, customs and culture to psychology to recognize the mood of a passenger and assist you properly.

But he warned that “security is not negotiable” in its operations and maintaining international standards, including measures against acts of terrorism and drug trafficking. Like the pilots, all licenses are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Panama, approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), he said. instructors have 24 permanent and one rotating pilots who are working who are training every two weeks to rest.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Libre

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