CopaAirlines will launch a nonstop flight between Denver and Panama City in December, and this time city leaders believe they have the right airline to make the connection to the “hub of the Americas” work.

Fourteen months after United Airlines scaled back and then ended its direct flight to the capital city of the Central American nation, Panama City-based Copa will take up the mantle, offering service four days a week, beginning on Dec. 11. And both DIA and Copa leaders are banking on Copa’s connections to 73 other cities in North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean to make the flight a popular one both with tourists traveling in both directions and with Denver-area business leaders wanting quick connections to growing economies like those in Brazil and Colombia.

“It is the gateway to the rest of Latin America,” Copa regional commercial manager Fernando Fondevila said of Tocumen International Airport, from which travelers do not have to go through customs a second time before flying onto other countries in this region. “Our new Denver flight will open doors to diverse business and tourism opportunities throughout the region.”

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