[Avionics Today 04-10-2015] United States President Barack Obama joined Panama President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez to witness the largest commercial transaction to ever take place between a Panamanian and U.S.-based company. The agreement between Copa Airlines and Boeing draws up an order for 61 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft and is valued at $6.6 billion at current list prices.
The signing ceremony took place in Panama City as leaders from throughout the western hemisphere gathered for the seventh Summit of the Americas. Presidents Varela and Obama were on hand as Copa Chairman Stanley Motta, Copa CEO Pedro Heilbron and Boeing Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney signed documents recognizing the agreement. The airplanes were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing's web site.
Copa Airlines will use the airplanes to replace existing aircraft in their fleet and support the carrier's plans for growth. Copa will be the first airline in the region to operate the 737 MAX 9 on deep South American routes.