Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Copa Airlines Introduces Raleigh-Durham as its 16th U.S. Destination

Flights to the capital of North Carolina will launch on June 21 four times a week, year-round

by Enrique Perrella

February 5, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Copa Airlines will launch flights to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), marking its 18th destination in the U.S. and Canada, increasing its network to 85 destinations in 32 countries in North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean.

“We are proud to welcome Copa Airlines to RDU as we help connect the diverse Triangle region with popular destinations around the world,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority.

“This new gateway will provide Triangle travelers easy access to Central and South America and the Caribbean through Copa’s vast international network.”

Photo: Copa Airlines, Boeing 737 MAX 9. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

Beginning June 21, Copa will operate flights from its hub in Panama City (PTY) to Raleigh-Durham four times a week. The flight schedule is set to accommodate the convenience of passengers:

– CM466: Depart PTY at 8:56 AM, Arrive at RDU at 2:28 PM
– CM467: Depart RDU at 4:20 PM, Arrive at PTY at 7:46 PM

This year-round service will be available on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, offering a flexible travel option for business professionals.

“We remain steadfast in our purpose to shorten distances and facilitate connections, allowing Panama to expand its role as the bridge that unites millions of people throughout the Americas while contributing to the economic development of the communities where we operate,” said Dennis Cary, Chief Commercial Officer at Copa Airlines.

“The introduction of the new Raleigh-Durham route not only promotes cultural exchanges within the Americas but also encourages and deepens tourism and business ties between Latin America and the Research Triangle area. This new route also provides the opportunity for more American tourists to enjoy the wonders of Panama.”


Raleigh-Durham’s International Growth

Raleigh-Durham, already host to 17 other airlines, will welcome its 18th carrier, solidifying its position as a key hub for international travel.

Copa now joins Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France, Bahamasair, Icelandair, and Lufthansa as the seventh foreign carrier at RDU, contributing to the airport’s diverse range of airlines and destinations.

Photo: Courtesy of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Copa has been steadily expanding its presence in the U.S. The Panamanian flag carrier operates nonstop flights to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington-Dulles, Baltimore, New York-JFK, Boston, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, Toronto, and Montreal.

The airline’s recent milestones in North America include celebrating a decade of nonstop flights between Tampa and Panama.

Photo: Courtesy of Tampa International Airport

Since its addition to Copa’s network in 2013, Tampa International Airport was the ninth U.S. destination to benefit from Copa’s extensive connectivity to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Last year, in June and July, Copa added Baltimore and Austin as the airline’s 15th and 16th destinations in the U.S., respectively.

Photo: Copa Airlines, Business Class, Boeing 737-800. Courtesy of Enrique Perrella

For the Raleigh-Durham route, Copa will fly its Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, equipped with 16 recliner Business Class seats and 144 Economy Class seats.

Tulum and Florianopolis

Copa is also adding two new destinations to its network in Central and South America, in addition to Raleigh-Durham. The airline will now fly to Tulum, Mexico’s newest leisure airport, and Florianopolis in Brazil.

Photo: Tulum, Mexico. Courtesy of Roberto Nickson / Unsplash

Panama City will connect four weekly flights to Tulum in the famous Riviera Maya on June 26. Florianopolis, the seventh destination for Copa Airlines in Brazil, will have three weekly frequencies. The airline will inaugurate its new route to Tulum International Airport on June 25, which will be the fifth destination for the airline in the country.

Copa’s announcement of these three new destinations demonstrates its commitment to expanding travel options for business and leisure travelers, reinforcing its status as a significant player in the North American aviation industry.