Country Guide » Travel To and Around
Panama is considered to be one of the most important aviation hubs in the Americas thanks in large part to the international Copa Airline, which calls Panama home. Many flights between North and South America include a layover in Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. Panama is also the proud host to two well-established domestic airlines, Aeroperlas (a TACA regional airline) and Air Panama, both which also offer flights to Costa Rica.
Copa Airlines was established in 1947 as the first airline in Panama with just three domestic routes. By the 60s Copa acquired several international routes to the Caribbean, Central America and Colombia, and by the 90s they became one of the most important international airlines in Latin America. Thanks to a broadened codeshare agreement with Continental in 2003, they drastically increased their routes all over the U.S. and Central America. The newest edition to the Copa fleet are 30 Embraer 190 commercial jets.
Air Panama is the country’s main domestic flight provider with a fleet of 15 aircraft serving more than 22 destinations. The six plane models range from the 9-seater Islander, which serves small island destinations like San Blas, to the 50-seat DASH 8-Q300, which is used for more popular routes like David-Panama City.
There is a hand baggage restriction of no more than 5 pounds on all flights. Stored baggage must be no more than 30 pounds on flights to David/Bocas del Toro/ or Changuinola and no more than 25 pounds on all other flights. Surf boards are charged $10 or $15 depending on the size, and pets are allowed in a cage as long as they have a health certificate and up to date immunizations for only $2.50 or $5.00 depending on size.
A one-way flight to David or Bocas del Toro costs around $94, while a shorter flight to Piñas Bay costs $68.