Air Transport World

Copa: copaair.com.(Latin America/Caribbean)(Copa Airlines Inc. services)(Brief article)

The Panamanian carrier boosted profits by 20.6% in 2005 to a record $82.7 million and continued to expand its fleet. Parent Copa Holdings, which also owns a majority stake in Colombia's AeroRepublica, saw revenues surge 52.2% to $608.6 million, in large part reflecting the acquisition of controlling interest in AeroRepublica in April 2005.

On the heels of the strong earnings, Copa exercised options for one 737-800 and three Embraer 190s in April. The 190s will be delivered in 2007-08 and the dash 800 in 2009. The fleet is expected to grow by six this year to 30 with the delivery of two 737NGs and four 190ARs.

CEO Pedro Heilbron said Copa Holdings is working to enhance the performance of AeroRepublica, which he conceded "did not have the strongest reputation for consistency" and operates aircraft--five MD-81s, four MD-83s and three DC-9-30s--"too large for the high-frequency domestic market in Colombia. …

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