Copa Airlines to become an all-Boeing carrier

Nov 16, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Panama’s Copa Airlines will join the rarified ranks all-Boeing 737 operators, like Southwest Airlines, with its plans to retire the Embraer E190s.

Copa will accelerate the retirement of the 14 E190s in its fleet by three years with plans to have the type out of its fleet by the beginning of 2021, executives said on a quarterly earnings call Thursday.

The move will see Copa become an all-737 operator, including of the beleaguered 737 MAX, when the E190s are gone. The airline operated 82 737s, not including the MAX, at the end of September.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

“There will be cost and [efficiency] advantages from a simpler fleet,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa, during the call.

Copa will replace the E190s in its fleet with new 737 MAX jets, he said. The carrier expects its six 737 MAX 9s to return to service around mid-February, and deliveries to resume in the first quarter.

The airline anticipates at least 13 MAX deliveries in 2020.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Ned Russell (@airbus777) on

Copa currently operates 14 E190s with up to 100 seats. The jets fly between the airline’s Panama City (PTY) hub and 35 cities in Latin America, including Bogota (BOG), Guadalajara (GDL) and Lima (LIM), in November, according to Cirium schedule data.

Related: Flying Copa (Embraer 190, Boeing 737) in Coach From Guatemala to NYC via Panama

Copa Airlines Embraer E190 routes in November 2019. (Image by Cirium)
Copa Airlines Embraer E190 routes in November 2019. (Image by Cirium)

While the MAX will replace the E190s in Copa’s fleet, routes flown with the E-Jets will shift to smaller 737s, including the 737-700, said Heilbron. This will reduce the downward pressure on fares that may result from the added seats in smaller markets.

Copa is one of several carriers retiring the E190 in the next few years. In 2020 alone, American Airlines will retire its 20 E190s, and Air Canada and JetBlue Airways will begin replacing their E-Jets with Airbus A220s. Avianca plans to remove the type by the end of this year.

All of the carriers cite cost and operating benefits from removing the type in favor of either Airbus A319s, like at American and Avianca, or new generation A220s, like at Air Canada and JetBlue.

Copa is a codeshare partner with United Airlines. The two carriers are in the process of forming an expansive joint venture partnership with Avianca and Azul covering flights between Latin America and the U.S.

Related: Azul could join giant Latin America alliance sought by United, Avianca, Copa

Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases,  internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.49% - 22.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.