The announcement last week that passengers will soon be able to fly nonstop between Boston and Latin America was another milestone for local travelers, on top of last year’s launch of the first nonstop from Logan Airport to Asia. Massport and its new director, Thomas Glynn, are putting special emphasis on increasing the numbers of nonstop international destinations — currently 33, but only 14 when excluding Canada and resort islands — and deserve credit for every victory. But it’s still an urgent concern, because outside of Tokyo and the newly announced Copa Airlines flight to Panama City, Panama, all of Logan Airport’s international business-travel destinations are in Europe and Canada. That shouldn’t continue, in a city with increasingly strong ties to Asia and Latin America.
Boston’s status as a global city depends on its ability to provide local business leaders with the quickest possible routes to overseas markets. New models of airplane, including the extended-range Boeing 737 that Copa will fly between Boston and Panama City, are making it easier for airlines to fly international routes with fewer passengers per plane. Of course, Boston’s hopes for more routes to Asia rest largely with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, one of which is currently mothballed on the Logan tarmac, while investigators probe the cause of two recent battery fires. At the least, Copa Airlines is proving that Logan can expand its horizons even without its dream aircraft.