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Tampa-Panama flights resume Friday, reopening routes to Central, South America

Tampa International Airport’s flights to to Panama City had been suspended during the coronavirus pandemic.
Copa Airlines will resume direct service from Tampa to Panama City, Panama on Jan. 8, 2021.
Copa Airlines will resume direct service from Tampa to Panama City, Panama on Jan. 8, 2021.
Published Jan. 7

For Tampa-based travelers, the world is starting to reopen.

Following a 10-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Copa Airlines will resume its direct flights from Tampa International Airport to Panama City, Panama on Friday. The flights will initially run twice weekly.

The resumption of direct flights to Panama also means new routes to Central and South America and the Caribbean, as Tampa travelers can be connected to 21 more cities in 12 additional countries.

Among the connections that will available from Tampa via Copa Airlines: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala and Uruguay. Travel safety and security requirements for specific destinations are available on copaair.com.

“These flights will allow Copa Airlines to serve thousands of passengers who wish to return to their homes, reunite with their families, visit their favorite vacation destinations, address health issues, attend important meetings, family, or professional matters,” Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines said in a statement.

Related: Tampa airport resuming flights to Cuba, Montreal, Panama

Overseas travel from Tampa International Travel has been limited during the pandemic, but has picked up over the year. The airport currently offers direct flights to Cancun, Mexico on JetBlue and the Bahamas on Silver Airways.

Flights to Montreal and Havana, Cuba took place in December before halting again until February and late March, respectively, due to tightened COVID-19 protocols.

Related: Troubled 737 Max will fly into Tampa International Airport this month