Its air transportation capacity will thus be increased to 40%, allowing Iberia to offer an additional 2,000 passenger seats per week. Some 600 seats will be added to the existing ones.
Iberia is boosting their investment in the Panama route by sending Airbus A330 aircraft with 36 business class seats and 242 economy class seats, for a total of 278 passengers, to Tocumen International Airport. The Spanish airline will also operate A340 aircraft with capacity for 289 people, divided into 24 business and 265 economy seats.
Air connectivity is one of the main reasons tourist arrivals have gone up, points out Ernesto Orillac, Deputy General Manager of the Panama Tourism Authority. "We currently have flights from Europe on KLM, Iberia, Air France, and soon TAP from Portugal. With these new daily frequencies we will reach a total of more than 25 weekly flights from Europe," said Orillac.
Orillac notes that their success in securing new flight frequencies has increased the number of visitors to Panama. From 1.5 million visitors in 2009, this figure climbed by 40.9% to reach more than 2.2 million visitors in 2013.
During that same five-year period, tourism spending hit $5.078 million, a 123.8% growth rate.
"European visitors totaled 169,542 last year. These tourists are characterized for spending more money and taking longer trips. This has extended the tourist's average length of stay to a record of 9.3 days in 2013," remarked Orillac.
Photo: Iberia Airlines