Copa Airlines 737 Goes Off Runway At Tocumen Airport

  • Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800 (2)

    Copa Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Tocumen International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Pedro Heilbron


A Copa Airlines Boeing 737-800 has run off the runway while landing at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama.

According to, Copa Airlines flight CM135 left Mexico City International Airport (MEX) at 17:41 on Sunday, 25 September and touched down in Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY) at 21:13. The aircraft involved is a twelve-year-old Boeing B737-800, registered HP-1539CMP with an MSN 29667. Panama’s La Prensa reports the plane skidded off the runway with no injuries reported.


A terrifying time for those onboard

It was raining at Tocumen Airport, and the La Prensa report says the incident “occurs just as a heavy downpour falls on the capital accompanied by gusts of wind. Earlier, SINAPROC, the Panama National Civil Protection System, issued a rain prevention alert due to Tropical Storm Ian.

The airport was closed as it activated its emergency protocols, and operations were temporarily suspended. After the Copa Airlines aircraft landed at 21:13, there were no more landings until Spirit Airlines flight NK907 arrived from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL) at 00:45 on Monday. Tocumen Airport has two runways, the main one being 03/21L at 10,000 feet (3,050 meters) long, paved with concrete, and 03/21R at 8,800 feet (2,682 meters) with an asphalt surface. This tweet shows where the aircraft came to rest.

This is a flight not to forget

Copa Airlines CM135 was operating from Mexico City Airport (MEX) to Tocumen International Airport (PTY) and skidded off the runway on landing. Data:

Copa Airlines used Twitter quite effectively to keep in touch with passengers and their families, posting a series of tweets as the night progressed. An early one was:

Copa Airlines Update

According to, the message translates as:

“Copa Airlines communicates that its flight CM135 today between Mexico City and Panama City was involved in an accident when it ran off the runway during its landing at Tocumen International Airport in Panama. The Boeing 737-800NG with registration number HP-1539 departed from Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City at 5:26 pm local time.

“We have confirmation that there are no injuries as a result of this incident. Our priority is the well-being of passengers and crew on board the flight, and we will provide them with the necessary assistance. We are also working with the appropriate authorities to gather all the information necessary to investigate the incident.

There were a few more tweets, including one to inform everyone that Copa Airlines had recommenced operations and the airport was reopened. Perhaps this is the definitive statement issued some hours after the accident that pulls together the threads of how the airline responded.


Panama, September 26, 2022Copa Airlines confirms that its flight CM135 on September 25, operated by a Boeing 737-800NG aircraft with registration number HP-1539CMP, from Mexico City to Panama City was involved in an accident while landing in Panama, resulting in a runway excursion. It was carrying 159 passengers and seven crew members onboard the flight. No injuries were reported and all passengers and crew members were taken to the airport terminal, where they received assistance from the airline staff.

Some of the passengers with connecting flights will continue their itinerary in the next few hours, while the rest will be taken to a local hotel and will complete their journey later.

Currently, the aircraft remains at the incident location and will be removed by specialized personnel as soon as possible. Due to the temporary closure of the airport, one flight was diverted to the Panama Pacifico airport while others were delayed. Tocumen International Airport announced the reopening of one of its two runways, and operations have restarted. Passengers should check their upcoming flights’ status at

As the day dawns in Panama, there will be plenty of activity around the stricken jetliner, and, in the fullness of time, a report will detail how this incident came about. Whenever anything does break, you can be sure Simple Flying will be in the thick of it, so it’s a good time to sign up for one of our newsletters!

Source: La Prensa,

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