Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines plans to exit the SkyTeam alliance the same day as its long-time partner Continental Airlines - 24 October.

As soon as Continental opted to join Star in 2008 it was expected Copa would follow suit and relinquish its associate membership in the SkyTeam grouping.

In late 2008 Copa management discussed leaving SkyTeam, noting the carrier had no commercial choice since Continental was exiting the alliance. Continental and Copa's ties date back more than ten years when the Houston-based carrier took a 49% stake in the carrier. Its ownership would reach 51% before Copa's initial public offering in 2005. Following the IPO Continental slowly reduced it stake and sold its remaining 10% holding in Copa last year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news