There is potential for Panama's flag carrier Copa Airlines to work with its Chinese counterpart Air China to run direct flights between their countries, Copa's Executive President Pedro Heilbron said Tuesday.
"The idea is ... when (Air China) flights come to Panama, they can connect with Copa's network," he said.
Heilbron said the two companies are working on a codeshare flight agreement and coordinating schedules should be possible.
"China is one of the sources of travelers with the biggest global growth. Our region is a distinct and attractive region which is not well connected with China," he said.
In Heilbron's eyes, Panama could become a key regional destination for Chinese travelers with its many natural, archaeological and historical attractions, as well as connections to Peru, Colombia and the Caribbean.
Air China and Copa Airlines were coordinating to start the first flight from Beijing to Panama City, with a stopover in Houston, the United States and the service was announced in November, when Panama's President Juan Carlos Varela made his first state visit to China. A bilateral civil aviation transport agreement was signed during the visit.
Copa Airlines currently serves 75 destinations in more than 30 countries across the Americas.