The Colombian subsidiary of Panama's Star Alliance carrier Copa Airlines has confirmed that it will abandon all continental domestic routes and focus its efforts on international flights.
A Copa Colombia source says to Flightglobal that "all domestic routes, with the exception of flights to the [Caribbean] island of San Andres, will be dropped in April".
Asked about the reason for the decision, the source alleges that Copa "never had a strong domestic presence" in Colombia and that its real strategic stronghold is international traffic.
Copa's domestic market share in Colombia reached in 2013 around 5.8%, serving a limited network around Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Santa Marta, Cartagena, Bucaramanga and Leticia.
The launch of low-cost carrier VivaColombia in 2012 has put strong pressure on yields in a highly dynamic market, which grew last year by 15.8%.
The lack of critical mass in the market and the corresponding difficulty to produce economies of scale may have been additional factors in Copa's decision from what it once considered a strategic market.
The airline will maintain and increase all international routes to and from Colombia, with "Brazil being of particular importance", according to the source.
Avianca, Lan Colombia and VivaColombia have all confirmed their interest in taking over slots and routes dropped by Copa.