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DENVER — Copa Airlines will begin service out of Denver International Airport later this year, officials said Wednesday.

Copa will become the 24th airline, including eighth foreign-flag carrier, to provide service out of DIA with nonstop service to Panama City four times a week.

“New air service continues to drive economic activity and create new jobs in Denver,” Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Copa’s new service to Panama City will further strengthen Denver as a global destination for commerce, trade and culture.”

The service to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport will begin Dec. 11. Denver will become Copa’s 13th U.S. destination.

Airport officials said nearly 700 passengers a day fly out of Denver to Central and South America. Copa’s nonstop flight will get Denver passengers to Panama two to three hours sooner.

“Copa plays a significant role in the development of business and tourism throughout the Americas,” Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron said. “We expect the addition of Denver, our newest U.S. destination, to generate business and leisure travel not only between Colorado and Panama, but also to our more than 55 destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Copa flights will leave Denver on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. and arrive in Panama at 6:05 a.m. the next day.

The return flights will leave Panama on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 11:50 a.m. and arrive in Denver at 4:12 p.m.

There will be seating for 16 passengers in business class and 138 in the main cabin of the Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation aircraft.