Panama: Tocumen airport to process 15.7 million passengers in 2022
The General Manager of Tocumen International Airport, Raffoul Arab, presented before airline executives, concessionaires, leaders of tourism associations and the press, the general balance of airport activities for the year 2022, highlighting the recovery of most of the international routes, the return of airlines, passenger traffic, the modernization of infrastructure and the full operation of the new Terminal 2.
According to the statistical balance, Tocumen has closed 2022 with the traffic of 15,779,103 million passengers, which represents 6,615,105 million passengers more than in 2021.
Destinations and markets
Arab highlighted the launching of new destinations to cities in North and South America, as well as the recovery of more than 95% of the routes that connected Tocumen International Airport prior to the health crisis, which is evidence of the good progress in the reactivation of the airline industry in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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He also highlighted in his annual report that 18 of the 24 airlines that serve 85 destinations in the Panama Hub, some of them have increased their flight frequencies.
“We have had a robust year-end and if the current trend continues by 2023 we estimate that we will surpass all records of passengers processed with more than 16.8 million,” said Arab.
Among the most important milestones for 2022, Arab highlighted the full operation of Terminal 2, the reopening of Panama Pacifico airport, direct flights from Frankfurt operated by Eurowing Discover, direct flights from Istanbul operated by Turkish Airlines and regular flights to Rio Hato by Air Transat, among others.
On the other hand, he indicated that the 16% increase in cargo confirms Tocumen’s immense potential as a regional and domestic logistics hub. By the end of 2022 Tocumen managed to mobilize 234,935 metric tons of cargo, 32,192 more than the previous year’s scenario,” he said.
As passenger movement recovers, more routes are resumed, flight frequencies are increased, and commercial concessions are awarded for the duty-free business line in both terminals, Tocumen’s financial situation also improves. 2022 closed with US$242.2 million in revenues, with a variation of -5% compared to 2019. For 2023, revenue is estimated at $278.9 million, or 15.1 million more compared to 2022.
As for the regional terminals managed by Tocumen S.A., the Enrique Malek International Airport in the Province of Chiriqui, the Panama Pacifico International Airport and the Scarlett Martinez Airport in Rio Hato, together mobilized a total of 354,813 passengers, while the domestic terminal mobilized 147,029 passengers, which contributes to the generation of direct and indirect jobs, the promotion of tourism and the economic recovery of the country.
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In terms of infrastructure, Tocumen has managed to culminate in 2022, other important projects that provide greater opportunities for connectivity, reactivation of the economy and promotion of tourism in different regions of the country.
This is the case of the Enrique Malek International Airport in the Province of Chiriqui, the Panama Pacifico International Airport, the Enrique Adolfo Jimenez International Airport in Colon, which included modernization and improvements to the infrastructure, rehabilitation and maintenance of runways, taxiways and aprons, river channels, among other adjustments, with a total investment of more than 3 million dollars.
After three years of pandemic, the outlook is less turbulent for Tocumen. However, the scenario for the airline industry continues to be uncertain due to the global situation, although with a more optimistic outlook.
Although the results to date and the year-end closing projections are encouraging, the manager of Tocumen, S.A. considers that we must be cautious for this year 2023, since the air transport industry has not yet recovered from the most serious health crisis that humanity has experienced in a century and with risks that “some economies enter into recession, but despite the economic uncertainties there are many reasons to be optimistic in 2023”.
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