Frankfurt – MENA Herald: Lufthansa commenced its new non-stop service between Frankfurt and Panama City today. Flight LH 484 departed from Frankfurt (FRA) at 10:15 local time, and is scheduled to arrive at the Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen in Panama City (PTY) at 16:40 local time March 2, 2016. Eastbound flight LH 485 will leave Panama City at 18:45 local time this evening, and is due to land in Frankfurt at 11:35 local time tomorrow (3 March). Lufthansa will be operating a five-times-weekly service on the new route all year round. Passengers from Dubai can get to Panama via Frankfurt.

Panama, which is located between Costa Rica and Colombia, has experienced strong and accelerating economic growth in the last few years. Panama and the UAE have bilateral trade relations as business is expected to grow beyond the free zones of both countries. In addition to the world-famous Panama Canal, the country’s substantial banking sector, its favorable geographic location and its well-developed infrastructure are all key reasons for business and leisure travellers to visit this Central American country. With its unspoilt beaches and its large number of national parks featuring rainforest, mangroves and a unique underwater world, Panama offers vacationers in particular an unforgettable stay.

Panama is also an ideal starting point for exploring various Central American countries and the islands of the Caribbean. And in this regard, Lufthansa’s new bilateral codeshare agreement with Copa Airlines, on of Central America’s leading air carrier, which is based in Panama City, offers a wide range of advantageous onward travel options.

Under the new codeshare accord, Lufthansa travellers can fly on with Star Alliance partner Copa Airlines from Panama City to any of 73 further destinations in Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Costa Rica, many of them bookable under Lufthansa flight numbers. In return, Copa Airlines customers gain access to the global network of the Lufthansa Group, which currently extends to 261 destinations in 101 countries.

Since both partner airlines are members of Star Alliance, their customers can also earn and redeem miles on both carriers under the ConnectMiles and Miles & More programmes. As a further benefit of the new partnership, Lufthansa travellers can check their baggage right through to their final Copa Airlines destination, obtain all their boarding passes for the trip at their first airport of departure and enjoy lounge access at Panama City Airport.

While Panama City is a new addition to the Lufthansa route network, the Lufthansa Group is no stranger there. LSG Sky Chefs opened a state-of-the-art new production facility at Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen in March 2014, replacing the previous facility, which had been in use since 1963. The new development is part of a broader airport expansion that has been prompted by the substantial growth in passenger numbers in the last few years. The facility currently employs some 500 personnel, who produce an average of 27,000 meals a day for around 200 flights.