Sai – Secretaria Executiva de Articulação Internacionais

Santa Catarina gains direct flight to Panama and shortens trip to the USA and the Caribbean

A new route between Florianópolis and Panama City was announced this Monday, 5th, by Copa Airlines. There will be three flights per week, starting on June 25th, between the capital of Santa Catarina and the destination that serves as a connection to cities in the Caribbean and North America. The novelty was made possible through negotiations by the State Government and Floripa Airport .

“People from Santa Catarina will be able to fly to the entire American continent more quickly, without any stopover here in Brazil. We are on another level. I am very happy with this news I received directly from the president of the Panama company”, said governor Jorginho Mello.

Florianópolis becomes the airline’s seventh destination in Brazil. The Copa Airlines flight to Santa Catarina’s capital will initially operate with three weekly frequencies, on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sundays, departing at 3:23 pm from Panama (local time) and arriving at Hercílio Luz International Airport at 00:22 am (local time). The return flight will depart Florianópolis at 01:25 am, arriving in Panama at 06:30 am (local time) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays. All options with capacity to transport up to 160 passengers.

“It’s a very positive impact: initially because you open and develop Santa Catarina’s borders with North America. Flights that could normally take 18 to 20 hours with one or two connections will be 10, 12 hours away, making North American tourism much more accessible to Santa Catarina and Santa Catarina tourism much more accessible to North America. So you save time by making the destination more accessible and certainly a price gain also making this ticket cheaper and more accessible destinations for everyone”, said Ricardo Gesse, CEO of Zurich Airport Brasil, responsible for the airport management.

“Without a doubt, we have entered another level in this very competitive market, which is tourism, leisure and business tourism. It was a request from Governor Jorginho Mello at the beginning of his administration. The airport was committed together with the airline and we, at the beginning of the government term, already sat down and started negotiations. So today is a really great day for the official announcement of the start of this new route operation, which provides comfort to tourists, which brings promotion to the destination of Santa Catarina and also connectivity to our businesses”, explained the Secretary of State for Tourism, Evandro Neiva.

Copa Airlines country manager in Brazil Raphael de Lucca also thanked the partnership with the State Government and said he hopes that the number of flights increases over time. “Governor Jorginho Mello personally went to Panama and this was a curious fact noticed by our team, who was the first governor at the beginning of his term to visit us there at our headquarters. And now Santa Catarina will have a much more efficient exit door to the Americas, but also the great goal of promoting Santa Catarina abroad. And for this, it also counts on our support, our entire commercial team at the origin spots abroad to promote it even more and wishing that these three weekly operations are just the beginning of this marriage.”

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Juliano Froehner, recalled the government’s official mission to Panama, in October last year. “There was a summit conversation among the Airport representatives, Copa Airlines and our governor, also with Secretary Beto Martins and myself from the Foreign Affairs and at that moment the proposal of the Government of Santa Catarina became official, so that this line could be implemented for the commercial promotion, partnership, developlment, tourism and business relations, so that this line always takes passengers, cargo, movement opportunities and shows itself as a constant success”, he explained.

Who also celebrated the new route was the Secretary of State for Ports, Airports and Railways, Robison Coelho. “It demonstrates the growth and development of Santa Catarina. And a clear shot from Governor Jorginho Mello. It gives prominence to two very important sectors: tourism and air transportation”.

Panama City has a strategic location and a fundamental role in connectivity with North America and the Caribbean. From there, Copa operates 85 destinations in 32 countries. Florianópolis becomes Copa Airlines’ seventh destination in Brazil.

Text: Christiano Vasconcellos/ Secom
Photo: Roberto Zacarias / Secom