Panama City-based Copa Airlines has renewed its codeshare agreement and general alliance with United Airlines for another five years. The two carriers will now formally retain their codesharing arrangement, frequent flyer reciprocity, and “preferential pricing on some services,” among other partnerships.
The announcement came late last month, just as Copa was experiencing a system-wide passenger traffic jump of 3.9%, in passenger revenue miles year over year, in May. Capacity decreased 0.3% in the month, however.
While this slight uptick does not offer a ton of help to an airline operating in a region that is still experiencing prolonged currency devaluations, it represents some good news in a tough market where revenue has been sagging. Copa’s passenger revenue fell from $2.62 billion USD in 2014 to just $2.17 billion USD in 2015, and its net income fell by almost 50% year over year. Even with some $200 million less spent on fuel costs during the year, the airline was unable to see growth.
In positive news, Copa has become the most reliable airline in Colombia. With 93% of its flights staying on schedule over the first half of 2015, it ranked first among all carriers operating in the country in terms of on-time performance. This was even better than the region-wide rate of 91% it posted. “Our passengers appreciate the fact that they can make fast, convenient, and comfortable connections,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, in a statement.
In all, Copa Holdings operates a fleet that services 76 destinations in 31 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean. In Colombia, Copa flies to Bogotá, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Cucutá, and Pereira. Its first routes into the Andean nation began in 1992.