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Monday, November 24 2014 @ 08:34 PM EST

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Higher Ticket Prices for Domestic Flights in Panama

Cars & Transportation By Mirna Ospino for the Panama America - Prices for domestic flights will increase effective today, Saturday, 31 January 2009. Flights from Panama City to David, Bocas del Toro and Changuinola will increase $10 dollars, raising the cost of a ticket from $70 to $80 dollars. This represents a 14.3% increase according to the details of a resolution approved by Panama's Civil Aviation Authority. Flights to Kuna Yala will increase 5$ dollars, flights to the Darién will increase by $3.50, and flights to Colón and Isla Contadora will increase $3.00 dollars. The reason cited for the increase ticket prices is that the recent drops in fuel expenses did not offset increasing expenses in other areas.
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Irregularities in the Transmóvil Bidding Process

Cars & TransportationBy SHELMAR VÁSQUEZ SWEEN for La Prensa - Three companies are competing to with the government bid to provide 420 buses to modernize public transportation in Panama City. The Group Q consortium which represents Mercedes Benz, the Volvo consortium, and an Asian company called Higer Bus Company Limited participated. None of the three participating companies fulfilled all 25 points established by the government. In fact, Higer Bus Company Limited, which offered the lowest price and therefore is being considered as the winner, was criticized during the act witnessed by a notary public because they failed to comply with seven points. The other two companies only failed to comply with one point each. According to the legal representative of the Volvo Partnership, Jessica de Cortés, some of the established parameters are essential to guarantee the quality of the buses that will circulate in the country. “They did not bring the certificate of guarantee of the manufacturing company, nor did they present the three certifications that demonstrate they have led systems similar to the Transmóvil”, complained Cortés in talking about Higer. Meanwhile, Elbert López, the lawyer for the company that distributes Higer buses in Panama (Ameristar Sales International) said Higer does not have the facilities in the country to provide maintenance to the buses. “The Public Ministry should investigate them for the crime of falsification," he said, because Higer said they do have the facilities. Juan Carrera Guillén, of Higer, said the fear of their adversaries is that their company can produce about 22,000 buses per year, which would allow them to deliver the first 420 buses required by the project in only 125 days. The State gives them a term of 210 days. The proposals will be sent to an evaluating technical board.
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New 1,000 Meter Long Airfield in the Darién

Cars & TransportationLa Critica - As of the month of April the province of Darién will have an airport that can be used to facilitate the transfer of people and to promote tourism and commerce in that area of the country. According to a press release from the Presidency, the national government is building the airfield using funds from the Social Investment Fund (FIS), assigned to the Ministry of the Presidency at a total cost of $2.1 million dollars. Work on the airfield is 40% complete, and it will have a runway that's 1,000 meters long and 15 meters wide, which would make it that longest airstrip in the Darién province. The airfield also includes a parking area for airplanes, places for aircraft to turn around, and two nearby helipads. At the moment they are installing landfill and compacting the land for the construction of the runway which will soon be surfaced with hydraulic concrete. The FIS also initiated the construction of a 700 meter long airfield in the indigenous community of Puerto Obaldía, along the Caribbean coast near Colombia. Sambú, Garachiné, El Real, Bahía Piñas, Jaqué and La Palma are other towns in the Darién province with airfields.
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Whoops - Construction On Both Routes Into Panama City

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Thanks to the construction and repairs being conducted on the Bridge of the Americas, traffic authorities are asking drivers to use the Centennial Bridge as an alternate route. But, when all of those drivers listened to their advice and used the other bridge this morning, they realized the authorities simply forgot to mention the ongoing construction of a new cloverleaf interchange on Tumba Muerto where most of the traffic comes into Panama City from the area of Cerro Patacon. So, there was a huge backup, and a truck loaded with sand came into the curve too fast, lost control, and caused a five car pileup. Hey, at least they're spending money, fixing old bridges, building new ones...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Repairs on the Bridge of the Americas Complicate Traffic Entering Panama City

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Repairs being conducted on the Bridge of the Americas, which crosses the Panama Canal and connects the interior of the Republic of Panama to the capital of Panama City, have reduced the capacity of the bridge down to only two lanes. In an effort to minimize the impact on traffic, the traffic division of the Panamanian National Police started an "operation" this morning, changing the direction of the flow of traffic every fifteen minutes. Apparently that wasn't such a good plan, because most of the traffic this morning wanting to cross the bridge were commuters coming from the interior towards Panama City, and there was almost no traffic to take advantage of the 15 minute windows in which flow was changed towards the interior. The police will execute this same "operation" this afternoon for the evening commute, and you can expect they will modify their plan somewhat. As an alternative, use the Centennial Bridge whenever possible. The repairs on the Bridge of the Americas are expected to continue through April 2009.

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Copa Airlines Reports 87.5% On-Time Performance for 2008

Cars & TransportationPANAMA CITY, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Airlines, a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., registered an on-time performance of 87.5 percent for its flights in 2008, as well as a flight-completion factor of 99.6 percent. The airline measures on-time performance according to international aviation-industry standards. "At Copa we strive to provide our passengers a world-class service and on-time performance is one of the keys to our success," said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines. "All passengers want to arrive at their destinations on time, whether they are traveling on business or for pleasure, and that is a major reason why they continue to make Copa part of their travel plans year after year." Copa Airlines maintains one of the best on-time performance records in the aviation industry. Skytrax, the well-known independent aviation-research company, selected Copa "Best Airline in Central America and the Caribbean" in 2008. About Copa Holdings, S.A. (more)
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"Transmóvil" Bid Delayed in Panama

Cars & Transportation By SHELMAR VÁSQUEZ SWEEN for La Prensa - The date for the government bid that would have selected the company responsible to supply and manage the 420 new buses for Panama City's new "Transmóvil" public transportation system, originally scheduled for the tomorrow morning, 15 January 2009, has been pushed back to the last week of this month because the the organization responsible for administering the bidding process has not yet finalized changes to the charge sheet. A group of seven vehicle manufacturers and distributors sent a document to the Ground Transportation and Transit Authority (ATTT) emphasizing deficiencies in the original charge sheet.
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Copa Holdings Announces 16.5% Traffic Growth for December 2008

Cars & TransportationPANAMA CITY, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Copa Holdings, S.A. and its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, today released preliminary passenger traffic statistics for December 2008. For the month of December 2008, Copa Holdings' system-wide passenger traffic (RPM) increased 16.5%, while capacity (ASM) increased 20.0%. System load factor for December 2008 was 74.2%, a 2.2 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Copa Airlines passenger traffic (RPM) for December 2008 increased 17.7%, while capacity (ASM) increased 22.0%. This resulted in a load factor of 75.2%, a 2.8 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Aero Republica passenger traffic (RPM) for December 2008 increased 10.8%, while capacity (ASM) increased 11.1%. Load factor for the month was 69.4%, a 0.2 percentage point decrease when compared to December 2007. Copa Holdings, through its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica operating subsidiaries, is a leading Latin American provider of passenger and cargo service. Copa Airlines currently offers approximately 144 daily scheduled flights to 45 destinations in 24 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition, Copa Airlines provides passengers with access to flights to more than 120 other international destinations through code share agreements with Continental Airlines and other airlines. Aero Republica, the second-largest domestic carrier in Colombia, provides service to 12 cities in Colombia as well as international connectivity with Copa Airlines' Hub of the Americas through flights from Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Medellin and Pereira. Additionally, in May 2008, Aero Republica increased international service by launching direct daily flights to Caracas, Venezuela from the cities of Bogota and Medellin. CPA-G SOURCE Copa Holdings, S.A.
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FREE 2006 KIA SORENTO 4X4!

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Extra credit for a cool idea - "Hi Don from a loyal long-time Panama-Guide reader. Don, I am moving from Panama next month and have a car I need to get rid of. My time is limited, so I came up with a unique way to try to get it sold... This could turn into a phenomenal deal for somebody... the car has got to go! Check it out and share it with your readers if you think it may be of interest ?! www.Free-Kia.com. Saludos, Steve Smith cel. 6727-9615" My obvious question for Steve was "and why don't I just keep my mouth shut and go pick up the free (or really cheap) car in a couple of weeks. Nah, this is more fun. Happy hunting, campers...

Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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"China" Run Down by Diablo Rojo in Crosswalk on Via España

Cars & Transportation

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This morning a woman of Chinese descent was hit by one of Panama's famous "Diablo Rojo" (Red Devil) buses as she tried to cross Via España using a crosswalk, near the Blockbuster where Via Argentina meets Via España. When I arrived on the scene and started talking photos of the accident, immediately witnesses told me "hey, take a picture of the potatoes, there's the proof..." The woman had walked up to the corner store to buy a couple of potatoes and carrots to make lunch, and she was hit while returning to her store, the Electronica Caribe on Via España. And sure enough, there were two potatoes right in the middle of the crosswalk where she was hit. The force of the impact sent her flying about 15 meters down the street where she landed. (more)

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