Panama, July 20, 2018 - The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) inaugurated its headquarter in Panama, from where it will continue fostering its efforts for the sustained development of the aviation industry in the region with the ultimate goal of generating economic and social benefits for the industry, nations and people served by air transport.

ALTA is a private nonprofit organization founded in 1980 with the objective of supporting the growth of aviation industry in the region. Now, with nearly 4 decades of existence and under the slogan ALTA on the move, ALTA became the association for the industry, advocating for a safer, more efficient and sustainable aviation.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ALTA's Executive Director, comments: "We are very excited about the establishment of our headquarter in Panama. We are now in the region representing our members to have a more efficient industry to meet the challenges and opportunities we are facing. We are now one flight away from practically every key destiny in the region, we speak the same languages and we are even closer of our members".

Hernán Rincón, CEO Avianca and President of ALTA's Executive Committee, comments: "The aviation industry in Latin America celebrates the establishment of ALTA headquarter in its own region, as now it will be in the center of the Latin American continent to consolidate a sector that brings better and more benefits to travelers and communities, that transforms Latin America into a world-class industry cluster, and that - likewise - allows Latin America to be more and better connected".

De Oliveira added: "In addition to be an important air hub, Panama is now positioned as the aviation metropolis in Latin America and the Caribbean with the local presence of important associations of the industry: ACI-LAC, IATA and ALTA. Panama has a great future in front: the best-connected airport, local presence of important associations and a leader airline in the region".

Pedro Heilbron, CEO Copa Airlines and member of ALTA's Executive Committee, comments: "Having ALTA in Panama is a reason of pride as it reaffirms the role of the Hub of the Americas as the connection hub par excellence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thanks to the connectivity offered by Panama, ALTA will be able to more easily meet the needs of its members and work more efficiently on the development of the aviation industry for the benefit of people, companies and nations, as well as commercial, tourism and social growth of our countries."

Aviation is a key engine for the economic and social growth of the nations, in Latin America and the Caribbean the industry generates 806,000 direct jobs and 5.2 million indirect jobs each year. As pillar for the travel and tourism sector, the industry provides 167,000 million to region's GPD.

Alfredo Fonseca, General Director Civil Aviation Authority in Panama, comments: "It is clear that aviation industry continues growing, for this reason the Civil Aviation Authority maintain its commitment with operational safety, which has always been, is and will continue being our priority to keep the success of aviation in Panama".

Growth perspectives are very positive, and it is expected that - for 2035 - more than 650 million people will travel by air in Latin America and The Caribbean. ALTA's executive team will be in Panama to support airlines, suppliers, States, organizations and all industry players to make aviation reach its full potential and efficiently meet the growth.