who owns copa airlines

When it comes to airlines, ownership can often be a complex puzzle. So, who exactly owns Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama? Is it a private company or government-controlled? Let’s delve into the ownership structure and uncover the truth behind one of Latin America’s leading airlines.

As it turns out, Copa Airlines is owned by Copa Holdings, S.A., a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Yes, you read that right – it’s a public company. Copa Holdings is the parent company not only of Copa Airlines but also of Copa Airlines Colombia and Wingo, a low-cost subsidiary operating in Colombia.

But what does this ownership structure mean for Copa Airlines and its passengers? And who are the key figures behind the scenes? Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Copa Airlines and how its ownership impacts its operations, network, and customer experience.

Copa Airlines: A Brief History

Copa Airlines founding

Copa Airlines, originally known as Compañía Panameña de Aviación, was founded in June 1944. The airline began its operations in August 1947, initially focusing on domestic flights within Panama.

However, in 1980, Copa Airlines made a strategic decision to discontinue its domestic services and instead concentrate on expanding its reach to international destinations. This shift marked a significant turning point for the airline and set the stage for its future growth and success.

Throughout the 1990s, Copa Airlines embarked on an ambitious international expansion plan. The airline added flights to several key cities in Latin America, establishing itself as a major player in the region’s aviation industry.

In 1998, Copa Airlines forged a partnership with Continental Airlines, which further solidified its position in the market. The collaboration involved adopting a similar brand image and frequent flyer program, enhancing the overall travel experience for passengers.

Today, Copa Airlines continues to operate an extensive network of international flights, connecting travelers from its hub in Panama City to destinations across North, Central, and South America. The airline’s commitment to providing excellent service and seamless connectivity has earned it a strong reputation in the industry.

Year Key Milestone
1944 Copa Airlines (Compañía Panameña de Aviación) is founded
1947 Commencement of airline operations
1980 Discontinued domestic flights, focused on international destinations
1990s Expands network, adds flights to important Latin American cities
1998 Forms partnership with Continental Airlines

Copa Holdings: Ownership and Structure

Copa Holdings is the parent company of Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, and Wingo. Copa Airlines Colombia, formerly known as AeroRepública, was acquired by Copa Airlines in 2005. Wingo, on the other hand, operates as a low-cost subsidiary of Copa Airlines in Colombia. As the main operator and owner, Copa Airlines plays a pivotal role in the operations of Copa Airlines Colombia and Wingo. These three subsidiaries collectively contribute to the overall success and growth of Copa Holdings in the aviation industry.

To understand the ownership and structure of Copa Holdings, it is essential to delve into the individual subsidiaries and their significance within the company. Below is an overview of each subsidiary:

  1. Copa Airlines: As the flagship airline, Copa Airlines operates as a major player in the Latin American aviation market. With a fleet size of 97 aircraft, primarily Boeing 737s, Copa Airlines serves a diverse range of destinations across the Americas. The airline’s commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction has earned it several awards and accolades.
  2. Copa Airlines Colombia: Formerly AeroRepública, Copa Airlines Colombia operates as a subsidiary of Copa Airlines. The acquisition allowed Copa Airlines to expand its presence in the Colombian market and strengthen its regional network. Copa Airlines Colombia offers both domestic and international flights, providing passengers with greater connectivity within the country and beyond.
  3. Wingo: Wingo, established in 2016, is Copa Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary operating in Colombia. With a focus on affordable travel, Wingo offers budget-friendly fares to various destinations. Despite its low-cost model, Wingo maintains high standards of safety and quality, ensuring a pleasant flying experience for passengers.

By having these subsidiaries, Copa Holdings is able to diversify its offerings and cater to a wider range of travelers’ needs, showcasing its ability to adapt to different market segments and optimize its operations to meet evolving industry demands.

To gain a deeper understanding of Copa Holdings’ ownership and structure, refer to the comprehensive table below:

Subsidiary Description
Copa Airlines The flagship airline and main operator within Copa Holdings. It serves as the primary source of revenue and brand recognition for the company.
Copa Airlines Colombia Acquired in 2005, Copa Airlines Colombia operates as a subsidiary of Copa Airlines, focusing on domestic and international flights within Colombia.
Wingo A low-cost subsidiary of Copa Airlines, operating as a separate entity in Colombia, offering affordable flights to various destinations.

Key Figures in Copa Airlines

Pedro Heilbron, the CEO of Copa Holdings, leads the company and oversees its operations, playing a pivotal role in its success. As the parent company of Copa Airlines, Copa Holdings is responsible for the strategic direction and management of Copa Airlines and its subsidiaries.

In addition to Pedro Heilbron, Copa Airlines boasts a team of experienced and influential executives. Stanley Motta serves as the Chairman of the Board, contributing to the overall governance of the company. Other key executives include Alvaro Heilbron, Jaime Arias, Ricardo Alberto Arias, Jose Castañeda Velez, Carlos Motta, Julianne Canavaggio, John Gebo, Andrew Levy, and Josh Connor. Together, these executives collaborate on key decision-making processes, ensuring the airline’s continued growth and success.

With their expertise and dedication, Pedro Heilbron and the Copa Airlines executives shape the future of the company, driving innovation, efficiency, and exceptional service within the aviation industry.

Financial Performance of Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines Financial Performance

In the fiscal year 2018, Copa Airlines demonstrated impressive financial performance, solidifying its position in the aviation industry. The company reported a revenue of US$2.678 billion, reflecting its strong market presence and customer demand. With its efficient operations and strategic decisions, Copa Airlines achieved an operating income of US$145.0 million, highlighting its ability to effectively manage costs and generate profits.

The net income for the same period stood at US$88.1 million, showcasing Copa Airlines’ financial stability and sustained growth. By delivering exceptional services and maintaining a strong customer base, Copa Airlines has successfully navigated the competitive landscape.

As a result of its commitment to excellence, Copa Airlines has been able to provide employment opportunities for approximately 9,450 individuals. Its dedicated workforce plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth operations of the airline and delivering a high-quality travel experience to passengers.

Financial Metrics Amount (in US$ millions)
Revenue 2,678
Operating Income 145.0
Net Income 88.1
Employees 9,450

The financial figures above demonstrate the success and stability of Copa Airlines, positioning it as a reliable airline choice for both domestic and international travel.

Copa Airlines Fleet and Network

Copa Airlines Fleet

Copa Airlines boasts a robust fleet size comprising 97 aircraft, primarily consisting of Boeing 737s. The airline’s commitment to a modern and reliable fleet ensures a comfortable and safe travel experience for its passengers.

With such a formidable fleet at its disposal, Copa Airlines operates flights to an extensive network of 82 destinations. These destinations span across multiple continents, providing travelers with a wealth of options to explore and connect with the world.


Region Countries Cities
North America United States, Canada New York, Los Angeles, Toronto
Caribbean Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic Punta Cana, Nassau, Bridgetown
Latin America Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Bogota, San Jose, Lima, Panama City, Mexico City

Whether you’re planning a business trip or a dream vacation, Copa Airlines’ extensive network and fleet size allow for seamless travel connections and easy access to a multitude of destinations.

Copa Airlines and Star Alliance Membership

Copa Airlines is proud to be a member of the esteemed Star Alliance, a global airline alliance that brings a world of benefits to its members and passengers. As a member of the Star Alliance network, Copa Airlines is able to enhance its connectivity and offer seamless travel experiences to its valued customers.

When you choose to fly with Copa Airlines, you gain access to an extensive route network that spans continents. Through the Star Alliance, Copa Airlines can connect you to over 1,300 destinations worldwide, including major cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond.

But that’s not all. As a Star Alliance member, Copa Airlines ensures that your journey is smooth and comfortable from start to finish. You can enjoy seamless connections between flights, allowing you to reach your final destination efficiently. Additionally, as a member of the Star Alliance, Copa Airlines passengers have access to airport lounges around the globe, where you can relax, recharge, and enjoy premium amenities.

By partnering with the Star Alliance, Copa Airlines solidifies its commitment to providing exceptional service and an extensive global network. Whether you’re embarking on a business trip, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, choosing Copa Airlines means you’re choosing the world-class benefits of Star Alliance membership.


Q: Who owns Copa Airlines?

A: Copa Airlines is owned by Copa Holdings, S.A., which is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Q: What is Copa Airlines’ parent company?

A: Copa Holdings is the parent company of Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, and Wingo.

Q: When was Copa Airlines established?

A: Copa Airlines was established as Compañía Panameña de Aviación in June 1944, with operations commencing in August 1947.

Q: What is the focus of Copa Airlines’ operations?

A: In 1980, Copa Airlines discontinued its domestic flights and shifted its focus to international destinations.

Q: What are the subsidiaries of Copa Holdings?

A: Copa Holdings is the parent company of Copa Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, and Wingo.

Q: Who is the CEO of Copa Holdings?

A: Pedro Heilbron is the CEO of Copa Holdings.

Q: What is the financial performance of Copa Airlines?

A: In the fiscal year 2018, Copa Airlines reported a revenue of US.678 billion, with an operating income of US5.0 million and a net income of US.1 million.

Q: How many aircraft does Copa Airlines have?

A: Copa Airlines has a fleet size of 97 aircraft.

Q: What destinations does Copa Airlines operate flights to?

A: Copa Airlines operates flights to 82 destinations, including cities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and various countries in Latin America.

Q: Is Copa Airlines a member of any airline alliance?

A: Copa Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance.

Q: What are the benefits of Copa Airlines’ membership in the Star Alliance?

A: Being part of the Star Alliance network allows Copa Airlines to enhance connectivity and offer seamless travel experiences to customers, including a larger route network, smooth connections, and access to airport lounges worldwide.