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Caribbean Airlines to fly direct to Panama

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Caribbean Airlines Limited has been given the green light to commence direct flights to Panama.

Panama's head of state, Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal, said on a visit to Port-of-Spain that he held discussions with Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and "we immediately called the airline authority in Panama whereby we would like to grant the fifth liberty to Caribbean Airlines ... " .

Berrocal, who ended a three-day visit on Tuesday, said Panama is now upgrading its airport facilities and by 2014 "it will be the largest airport in the Americas, including Mexico and Brazil".

He said the new facility would have 66 gates and three landing strips, and that over the next two months, people travelling through Panama will now enjoy special privileges.

"People who fly from Panama to the United States or Mexico for the next two months will be able to use the global entry. In other words, you are not going to need to go through the immigration in the US. You go directly to Customs and pick up your baggage," said Berrocal.

"Hopefully by the year 2015, immigration and customs would remain in Panama and would help the position of Panama to become the hub of all Central and South America for people wanting to go to different places," he added.