Copa Holding transported 2.3 million passengers

Copa Holding, shareholder of the Panamanian airline Copa, reported that it provided transportation services to 2.3 million passengers in the first two months of the year.

The figure represents a 19.5% increase compared to the same period last year, when the company transported 1.9 million people. Of this total, 2.2 million were international passengers, while the remainder was from internal operation of the company's subsidiary in Colombia, Copa Airlines Colombia. 

Last year Copa Holding transported a little over 10 million passengers, and the first projections for this year show that it may surpass 11 million people.

In addition to releasing its monthly statement, Copa Holding also notified its stockholders that José Montero, formerly the planning director for Copa Airlines, would be taking over as CFO as of today. Montero is replacing Víctor Vial, who had held this position for the past 17 years.

The company did not give further details on the reasons for Vial's departure, who will maintain ties with Copa Holding by serving on its advisory board.

In a statement, Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, praised Vial's role in expanding the airline, bringing it to grow from a small Panamanian company into a major regional and global leader. In 2012 Copa Holdings accumulated a net income of $326.5 million dollars, a 5% increase over 2011. This caused the company's share price, listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2007, to plummet 10% in early February. The stock has since recovered and reached $109 dollars (see chart).

This year the company announced a direct flight between Panama and Boston, in the United States. Among other plans, it also looks to increase its weekly flights to Bolivia. In a public hearing on March 7, the airline requested that the Civil Aviation Authority approve three new flight frequencies to Bolivia, for a total of 14 weekly flights to that country.