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Massport expands Logan’s route network to boost trade, tourism

Last year, the authority that oversees Logan, launched another new international nonstop flight to and from Boston, this time via Copa Airlines in Panama City.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File

Last year, the authority that oversees Logan, launched another new international nonstop flight to and from Boston, this time via Copa Airlines in Panama City.

The Massachusetts Port Authority is bringing more of the world to Boston — and Boston to a bit more of the world.

Last year, the authority that oversees Boston Logan International Airport, launched another new international nonstop flight to and from Boston, this time via Copa Airlines in Panama City. The Boston-Panama City route was an immediate hit in July, opening up large swaths of Latin America for travel. It attracted more than 15,000 passengers to Logan by the end of 2013.

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The new route was part of a broader campaign to boost Boston’s international trade and tourism. The Panama connection followed Logan’s addition of nonstop flights to Tokyo via Japan Airlines and a handful of other new international routes.

Emirates Airline began nonstop Boston-Dubai flights in March, and Turkish Airlines launched nonstop flights to Istanbul two months later. Coming this week: nonstop service to Beijing on Hainan Airlines.

To Tom Glynn, chief executive at Massport, it’s all about better connecting Boston — with its prestigious higher-education and medical institutions, as well as powerhouse firms such as Fidelity Investments and Raytheon Co. — with the rest of the global economy.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support — and pressure — from the business community to make Boston more of an international player, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Glynn.

About 5.8 million international passengers flowed through Logan last year, an increase of 11 percent over the airport’s prerecession peak in 2007.

“It’s all going to have a powerful impact on the local economy,” Pat Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said of the hundreds of thousands of new travelers. “We’re seeing the immediate results already, and it will only get better.”

Jay Fitzgerald can be reached at jayfitzmedia@gmail.com.
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