Friday, February 3

Tocumen Airport exceeds all passenger movement forecasts during 2021

Operations and passenger traffic in the Tocumen International Airport They exceeded the projections planned at the beginning of the year, according to the data accumulated in the activity reports, at the end of November 2021.

The general manager of the Tocumen International Airport, Raffoul Arab, In his 2021 management balance, he maintained that the movement of passengers through the Tocumen airport will exceed 9 million people, at the end of this year. The figure represents more than 60% of the statistics reported in 2019.

This growth, according to Arab, is due to the vaccination campaign, the use of passports and digital certificates of vaccination schemes and the relaxation of travel requirements.

All these measures help to improve the confidence of business and tourism passengers ”, highlighted the manager of Tocumen.

In the management balance, it also stands out that it has reactivated flights to 68 destinations of the 90 that operated in 2019 in the Tocumen International Airport before the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Similarly, 19 airlines, of the 24 that provide the service in the air terminal, have reactivated their flights; many of them with more than one daily frequency.

Meanwhile, in the non-aeronautical business line, commercial concessions have completely resumed their activities, which represents the reactivation of hundreds of jobs, Arab said.

Furthermore, the resumption of direct charter flights from Canada to the Scarlett Martínez Terminal in Río Hato by the companies Air Transat y Sunwing It was an aspect of transcendental importance, due to the impact on the economic recovery and tourism in the central region of the country.

During the pandemic, the Tocumen cargo terminal maintained the efficiency of the supply chain between North and South America. At the end of November, it moved more than 181,000 tons, which indicates without a doubt that this year Tocumen will achieve historical records in cargo movement, surpassing the volumes of 2019 and 2020.

Although the results to date and the projection for the end of the year are encouraging, the manager of Tocumen, S.A. considers that we must be cautious for next year, since the air transport industry has not yet recovered from the most serious health crisis that humanity has experienced in a century.

Many risks still persist, associated with variants of COVID-19, with effects and levels of resistance to vaccines that the scientific community continues to investigate. The Omicron variant has forced some of the world’s largest airlines to cancel flights, “he warned.

Panama has recovered 85% of the pre-pandemic connectivity to North America and Europe, as well as intra-regional traffic, which exceeds countries that never closed their skies such as the United States and Brazil, according to the most recent report from the International Association of Air Transport (IATA for its acronym in English), according to airport authorities.

Financial strength

On the other hand, in 2021 Tocumen, S.A. it also ensured its financial strength. In August, the Panamanian state-owned company placed a bond offering for $ 1,855 million in international markets as part of the liability management plan.

The most favorable returns in the last 15 years and a debt service savings of $ 180 million were obtained over the life of the bonds. This financial consolidation allowed the airport to recover its investment grade credit rating (Baa2 by Moody’s and BBB by Standard & Poor’s).

Likewise, a containment was applied and a reduction of administrative expenses of $ 10.5 million was achieved.

Infrastructure projects

As for the new Terminal 2 in 2021, the operation was expanded from 3 to 9 gates and operational tests were concluded so that the 116,000 square meter facilities and 20 gates, boarding bridges, commercial area, baggage management systems, customs, migration, aircraft services and agricultural quarantine come into full operation in the first half of 2022.

Having passed the critical reactivation phase, after seven months of closure, Tocumen, S.A. promoted a program of maintenance and optimization of the facilities.

The renovation of the ceilings in the north dock was completed, runways, platforms and aircraft parking were repaired in the terminals of David and Río Hato.

The Panama Pacifico terminal was completely remodeled at a cost of approximately one million dollars and will soon be reopened for the operation of low-cost regional airlines.