Wingo is opening two new routes from Panama City to Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Havana (Cuba), becoming the “only low-cost airline that will operate these destinations directly”, the company’s Commercial and Planning Director, Jorge Jiménez, told Efe.
The Panama City-Havana route “will start in September and the Santo Domingo route in October. We are arriving with a very competitive product, with very low prices (…) and it can attract attention and generate the desire to visit these two emblematic destinations,” Jiménez said.
“Havana and Santo Domingo are not only routes where we are going to expect Panamanians and residents in Panama to go to enjoy the tourist attractions, but they are also intended to activate trade. There are many merchants and many businesses around Panama, being such a strategic connection point in the middle of America. We have no doubt that we will be able to generate both tourist and commercial traffic,” said the executive.
These two new flights, which will depart from Panama Pacifico airport and represent a 40% increase in Wingo’s current route offerings in Panama, will begin sales with promotional fares.
The introductory fares start at $111 for the Panama-Havana route and $69 for the Havana-Panama route.
And from $103 for the Panama-Santo Domingo route and from $81 for the Santo Domingo-Panama route.
The regular route between Panama and Havana will have two flights a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the same as the Panama-Santo Domingo route, but on Thursdays and Sundays. On both routes, Wingo will provide the market with close to 3,000 seats per month.
Jiménez said that the two new routes will be operated “with a densified Boeing 737-800, with 186 seats, which is part of our ‘low cost’ business model”.
This aircraft, Wingo’s ninth, will also strengthen the Panama City-Medellin (Colombia) route, with an increase to 10 weekly frequencies from the current 7, he explained.
The routes to Santo Domingo and Havana are in addition to the current international network that Wingo offers directly from Panama, which includes flights to the Colombian cities of Bogota, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin, as well as to San Jose, Costa Rica.
“The main benefits of this growth that we are showing are leveraged in economy for travelers, providing a low-cost option. And the other is competitiveness, since the increase in visitors from these geographies helps to activate the productive chains of services, tourism and trade,” said Jiménez.
Wingo plans to “move close to 2.5 million travelers” this year, as part of the recovery of the low-cost airline market after the impact of the global pandemic of COVID-19 on the airline industry, the director explained.
“Right now we have a recovery of more than 100% of the capacity we had before COVID. Both the market and Wingo have been able to recover the pre-COVID capacity and even give more supply of seats. That shows how healthy this business model is and how it has helped the reactivation of our countries’ economies,” he stressed.
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