Considering a trip to Panama City? More flight options becoming available

A Copa Airlines passenger jet from Panama City, Panama receives a water cannon welcome as it arrives on it’s inaugural flight to Las Vegas at the new Terminal 3 at McCarran International Airport Wednesday, June 27, 2012. The Copa Airlines service is the first direct flight from Central or South America to Las Vegas, said airport spokesman Chris Jones.

Panama-based Copa Airlines will add four weekly round-trip flights between Panama City and Las Vegas in December, the company announced today.

Copa, which already offers daily nonstop service between Tocumen International Airport and McCarran International Airport, will add flights Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning Dec. 13.

Copa is an acronym for Compañía Panameña de Aviación.

The new flights will leave Las Vegas at 10:30 p.m., arriving in Panama City at 8 a.m. the next day. The return flights will leave Panama City at 6:40 p.m., arriving in Las Vegas at 10:45 p.m.

Copa will use twin-engine 160-passenger Boeing 737-800 jets with two-class service on the route.

The airline offers one-stop connecting flights to several cities in Central and South America. It was the first international carrier to offer new service to McCarran’s new Terminal 3 in June 2012.

“We are extremely pleased that our partners at Copa have increased the number of nonstop flights to Las Vegas for a third time,” Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said in a statement. “The addition of these new flights reiterates Copa’s confidence in Las Vegas as a travel destination and further emphasizes the potential of Latin America as a viable source of international travelers.”

Tull was referring to Copa’s rapid expansion of Las Vegas flights. When the company first began the route, it started with four flights a week, expanding to daily service within six months.