Country facts

Market overview

Panama’s aviation market holds a unique position in Central America owing to the country’s strategic geographic location, robust economy, and the presence of the Panama Canal, which has facilitated its development as a key transportation and logistics hub. 

Tocumen International Airport in Panama City serves as the main international gateway and one of the busiest airports in Central America. It is a vital hub for flights connecting North and South America, as well as for flights to Europe and Asia. The airport has undergone significant expansions and upgrades to accommodate the growing passenger traffic and to maintain high standards of safety and service. 

Copa Airlines, based in Panama, is one of the leading airlines in Latin America. It operates an extensive network of flights across the Americas and the Caribbean, capitalizing on Panama’s central location as a major hub for international air travel. The airline’s success and expansion have been crucial in positioning Panama as a key player in the regional aviation market. 

The domestic aviation market in Panama, although smaller in scale compared to the international sector, plays an important role in connecting remote areas of the country. Panama’s diverse geography, with its dense forests and archipelagos, makes air travel a practical option for internal transportation. Several regional airports and airstrips facilitate this connectivity, supporting tourism and local economies. 

The Panamanian government has been proactive in supporting the aviation industry, recognizing its role in the country’s economic development and regional connectivity. Policies to liberalize the aviation market, improve regulatory frameworks, and attract foreign investment have been implemented to bolster the sector. 

Panama’s aviation market is a central component of the country’s economy and transportation network, playing a crucial role in connecting the Americas and facilitating global trade and tourism. With strategic investments, a commitment to quality and safety, and a clear vision for the future, the aviation sector in Panama is well-positioned for sustained growth and success, contributing greatly to the nation’s economy. 

Marilyn Nel

Regional Managing Partner

Marilyn is a seasoned finance professional with a wealth of experience and expertise in the aviation sector. With nearly three decades of experience in finance and accounting, Marilyn has a proven track record of managing complex financial operations and driving business performance.

Marilyn began her career in finance as a management accounting professional at Air Namibia, where she quickly established herself as a top performer. She rose through the ranks to become the Senior Manager in charge of Financial Accounting and Management Accounting at the airline, where she was responsible for managing the company’s financial operations and providing strategic financial guidance to the executive team.

As also the Global Financial Controller of AirlinePros, Marilyn is responsible for overseeing the company’s global financial operations, including financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis. She works closely with other senior leaders to develop financial strategies that support the company’s goals and objectives.