Perhaps you have discovered that Copa Airlines’ livery is extremely much like the colours and construction of United Airlines? It wasn’t necessarily true, since the Panamanian carrier’s base dates back to 1947 and initially had a red stripe across its own planes. So, just how did Copa came to have its present livery? Let’s investigate further.
Copa Airlines and United Airlines have an identical livery since they share a story with a different airline: Continental. Photo: Getty ImagesThe roots of Copa Airlines
Long before Copa Airlines became such a powerhouse in Central America and utilized Tocumen International Airport since the ‘Hub of the Americas,’ the company had small roots. The now extinct Pan American World Airways had a first 32% stake in Copa.
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The Panamanian carrier began its operations together with three national channels, using Douglas DC-3/C47 airplanes. How times have changed: Currently, Copa just has one neighborhood flight between Panama City and David.
During those initial years, Copa Airlines wasn’t the sole company in Panama. Air Panamá Internacional was a crucial player in the country, backed up by the Panamanian Government and Iberia.
In 1966, the company set its initial foreign destinations, together with three weekly flights into San José, Costa Rica. Three decades after, Copa Airlines started more international destinations using its very first AVRO 748. It flew into Kingston, Managua, and Barranquilla. From the 70therefore, it began to link more Latin American towns, demonstrating what was to come. It established paths to Medellin, Cartagena, San Salvador, and Guatemala.
This was the livery Copa needed on its own fleet before Continental’s investment. Photo: Aero Icarus through Wikimedia CommonsHow did Copa eventually become a superpower in Latin America?
Copa Airlines isn’t among the earliest carriers in the area. Avianca, LAN, Aeromexico, and also a few others have earlier roots. Nevertheless, Copa is known among the main airlines in Latin America. It stinks to each nation on the continent also utilizes Tocumen Airport as a connection hub.
In 1980, Copa withdrew in the national market and concentrated on its global reach. It did it by incorporating the very first Boeing 737-100 to its fleet. As we all now know, Copa is among the most critical users of this B737 at the area. It intends to operate only with this model later on.
From the 80therefore, Copa flew into Port-au-Prince at Haiti, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), San Juan in Puerto Rico, and Miami.
Nevertheless, it had been before 1992 if Copa transferred into Tocumen International Airport and made the ‘Hub of the Americas.’ At the moment, the airline had a livery made up of two stripes, yellow and red, across the aircraft. It had the term ‘Copa’ composed on the tail along with the fuselage.
Between 1992 and 1997, Copa established operations to Caracas, Mexico City, Santiago, Cali, Bogotá, Quito, Guayaquil, Lima, Buenos Aires, and Havana. It has become the Copa we understand now. Subsequently, Continental Airlines came.
Continental Airlines united with United Airlines in 2010. Before that, the US carrier had a 51% stake in Copa Airlines. Photo: Brian through Wikimedia CommonsAnd what about the livery? Why is it similar to United’s?
In 1998, Copa Airlines and Continental Airlines signed a strategic alliance. The US carrier obtained 49% of Copa, raising it to 51% the following year.
Following that, Copa started its new brand and embraced the OnePass frequent flyer program. Additionally, it updated its fleet with Boeing 737 NG planes. Then, the company shifted its livery and took the white fuselage using all the company’s name written around. It painted its own tail with a dark blue and the entire world with white and gold stripes across. It generated the picture we all understand now.
From the 2000therefore, Copa launched flights into Cancun, Sao Paulo, Tegucigalpa, Orlando, Los Angeles, and New York. By 2005, it turned into the third largest Latin American holiday to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. That exact same year, Continental decreased its position to 27.3%, also by 2006 it had a 10% bet.
As we all know, United and Continental merged in 2010 into a firm. Finally, Copa Airlines purchased back the bets it offered in 1998 but kept the appearance.
As of July 2020, Copa Airlines is at the Star Alliance, functions 78 global destinations in 33 countries. Regardless, it’s presently grounded and might begin operations in September.
Have you ever flown with Copa Airlines? Tell us in the comments.