Panama Canal may see bigger delay than expected; sources varied on outcome. – Weekly News Roundup, January 4th.

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Welcome to the Panama Weekly Offshore Roundup! Here’s the latest.

Official: Panama Canal expansion could be delayed 6 months

The original deadline for the Panama Canal expansion is already two years overdue. But now, one official with one of the companies hired to help build it, is saying that the long-promised April 2016 deadline may also be delayed.

“We … (can) deliver the project” by April 2016, but “this will be impossible” if the Panama Canal Administration, or ACP, maintains its current “bureaucratic and payment rhythm,” which will delay completion by six months, the Italian Quarta said in an inteview with EFE.

Quarta said that the potential delay problem is not due to the cracks and water leaks recently detected in the walls of three of the new lock levels, for which the United Group for the Canal, or GUPC, has been blamed and which will be “completely repaired by next January.”

Source: Fox News Latino

Copa Airlines sees mixed results two years after launching Panama City flight in Tampa

Panama’s international airline carrier, Copa Airlines, has been rapidly expanding their fleet and routes over the past three years, especially to the United States. However, not all of its new destinations are generating the business they had previously hoped for.

Copa Airlines, which is a subsidiary of Copa Holdings, S.A., posted an average load factor, or the percentage of filled seats on airplanes, of 67 percent for its first full year in Tampa in 2014, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. In Orlando, Copa’s load factor average was 92.3 percent last year. In Miami it was 87.9 percent.

“I’m sure they’re losing money. Airlines have to be pretty close to 85 percent load factors just to break even anymore,” said Ken Qualls, CEO of Flight Management Solutions in Boca Raton, an aviation consulting firm. “That said, it’s not uncommon for airlines in a major arena to expect load factors to taper off after the two-year or three-year mark.”

Source: Tampa Bay Times

New App Gives You A Personal Tour Of Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo is one of the premier tourist destinations in Panama, specifically known for its colonial architecture, art, nightlife, and boutique hotels and shops. Now, people can get a historical tour as they walk through Casco’s cobblestoned streets, simply from using an app on their smartphone.

The app uses your GPS location to guide you to certain points within in Casco Viejo and then users can view photos and listen to an audio reenactment of historial events that happened in the area.

The app was founded by Roberto & Elizabeth Hurtado:

We were walking to Panama’s historic center (the Casco Viejo) one evening in 2013 when the idea to start Live Walk PTY flew into our minds. Our recent travels abroad had opened our eyes to the power a touch of imagination and dramatic re-interpretation had on awakening histories, and we wanted to provide travelers to Panama with a similar fun, immersive opportunity. As our idea developed, we took the “dramatic” aspect one step further by engaging a full cast of actors, a sound director as well as a theater director to create a transportive experience for travelers.


Source: PTY Life

What We Can Look Forward to in Panama in 2016

Panama is looking forward to a lot in 2016, especially when it comes to the economic impact of some big projects. In one of our latest blog posts, we look at some of the biggest things you can look forward to from Panama in 2016.

The World’s Longest Non-Stop Flight

This past summer, Emirates Airlines announced a major new flight route that will connect Latin America and the Middle East; and that route will begin in Panama. As of February, Emirates will offer non-stop service between Panama City and Dubai, which will become the first flight to the UAE directly from Latin America. This flight will take roughly 17 hours, and become the longest route in the world. It will also open some huge business opportunities for not only Panama, but all of Central America, as Panama will become the hub for Middle East/LatAm trade and international business.

Continue reading about Panama in 2016


About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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