Copa01 - Give a short account of the history of the...

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Give a short account of the history of the company, and trace the evolution of its strategy. Try to determine whether the strategic evolution of your company is the product of intended strategies, emergent strategies, or some combination of the two: Referencing an EncycloCentral article and the company's history page on its Web site: Copa Airlines began in 1944 under the name of Compania Panamena de Aviacion (COPA) as a post-war corporate creation of the Panamanian government. A small group of Panamanian investors started the company with aid from the U.S. company Pan America which held 32% of the company. The Panamanian government's emergent strategy was to use war surplus Douglas DC-3 and DC-47 transport planes for domestic feeder service to major airports used by Pan America. The company began flying planes on August 15, 1947 with domestic flights to three cities within the Republic of Panama, with a fleet of three Douglas C-47 airplanes. In the 1960s, Copa Airlines had saturated the Panamanian domestic market and had excess capital. As such, the company began acquiring Hawker Siddeley turboprops and Lockheed Electras and started flying internationally to the Caribbean and Colombia. In the 1970's, Copa added Guatemala as a destination and eliminated the less profitable domestic flights, thus becoming purely an international airline. In 1971, Pan American sold their share of Copa to avoid conflicts of interest. A group of local investors acquired Copa Airlines, making it a Panamanian company. Between 1980 and 1990, Copa management took steps to expand the service area of the Latin American market. Copa Airlines acquired its first B737-100 aircraft and added flights to Cartagena, Colombia; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Miami, Florida. In 1986, Copa Airlines became part of Compania de Inversiones Aereas SA (CIASA). (Today, some members of the Copa Airlines board remain part of CIASA.) Between 1986 and 1988, the Motta Group acquired majority control of Copa Airlines and brought Pedro Heilbron into the company as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The new management began making improvements to compete with Air Panama. This marked a transition era for the company, a watershed event in which the company moved from reactive to proactive, i.e. from emergent strategies to intended strategies. In 1989, the United States invaded Panama to depose Manuel Noriega. This led to the collapse of Air Panama and cleared the way for Copa Airlines to grow. The ensuing decade of the 1990s saw the astounding rise of Copa Airlines. The company added
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new destinations in Latin America, including the important cities of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago, Chile; Bogota, Colombia; Havana, Cuba; Mexico City, Mexico; and Caracas, Venezuela. The company benefited hugely by starting its flights to these leading cities of the region. In 1992, Copa adopted a hub- and-spoke model and worked with Panama to open the conveniently located Tocumen International
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This note was uploaded on 05/12/2010 for the course MAN 6721 taught by Professor Kraft during the Spring '10 term at University of Florida.

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Copa01 - Give a short account of the history of the...

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