Review of Air Panama flight Contadora Albrook in Economy

Airline Air Panama
Flight 7P910
Class Economy
Seat 1D
Aircraft Cessna 208
Flight time 00:20
Take-off 11 Feb 18, 17:15
Arrival at 11 Feb 18, 17:35
7P 1 reviews
flyLWA
By 374
Published on 5th August 2018
Welcome to my 5th flight report. As usual I try to post something different, and this time if I´m not wrong it´s the first post for an airline, Air Panama (7P) and for an airport, Contadora Island (OTD).
I hope you like it :)

Flight Details:


Airline: Air Panama
Route: OTD-PAC
Date: 11/02/18
STD/ATD: 17:15/17:37
STA/ATA: 17:35/18:01
Flight / Block time: 00:19/00:24
Flight number: 7P-910
Aircraft: Cessna Caravan 208
Registration: HP-1811PS

Background:


I had a business trip planned for Panama City and I whenever I travel on business to a new country, if I can, I stay a little bit longer and get to explore the country.

This was my second time in Panama already and I wanted to spend a few days on an island. Contadora came to mind as I remember a childhood friend used to go there on holidays, after reading some reviews and checking several options, I decided to go for Contadora.

Contadora is a small island in the Pacific ocean, just a 20 minutes flight away from Panama City. The island is considered to be an upmarket destination, there are just a few small hotels and B&Bs and then a few villas from wealthy Panamanians.

There are basically two ways of getting to the island, by plane with Air Panama or by ferry, both of them quite expensive IMHO, though Panama it is an expensive country for Latin American standards.

I made the booking through Air Panama´s website which is a little bit outdated and did not allow online check-in.

As you will see later on, check-in in Contadora was something out of this world :)

The Airport:


Contadora is a very small island and still has an airport that divides the island in two parts.

The airport was busier than expected, Air Panama only operates one flight daily (two on Fridays and Sundays) but the airport is still busy with lots of private planes bringing wealthy people to their luxurious homes on the island, so it was great for spotting.

My B&B was literaly one minute walking from the runway and to go anywhere I had to go around the runway.

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Parking lot by the airport, most people move around the island with one of these golf carts.

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Control Tower under construction, is it really needed?

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Empty runway

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Empty apron

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Plane taxiing towards the end of the runway in order to take off.

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Some activity going on, a private plane parked and passengers waiting for their plane to land.

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A Cessna Caravan

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Small turboprop

Check-in process:


Despite the informal look of the airport, passengers must check-in two hours before such as in any other airport.

There is no terminal in Contadora and check-in is done at Air Panama´s ticket office which resembles a little more than a tropical hut :)

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Air Panama´s ticket desk where check-in takes place.

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Check-in desk :)

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Me happily being weighted with my luggage :)

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Voila! A high-tech boarding pass for me…

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Now it´s time to wait for the flight to arrive at a nearby bar, once I hear the plane landing I should go to the airport, advantages of staying at a small island.

Boarding:


Boarding was also an experience by itself.
Once we could hear the plane landing people were approaching the runway, once pax disembarked, boarding was called and though I had been allocated a seat at check-in, the boarding agent told us that it was free seating, so off I run in order to get the best seat in the plane.

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Waiting area

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Plane parking

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Boarding procedures

Inflight:


Obviously boarding was a breeze, we were running with delay, but no problem for me, I was enjoying so much the whole experience, that it could have lasted a little longer.

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Seat pitch

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Seat pocket content, just the safety card and the life jacket

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Reading material, anyone interested?

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Route map as shown on the inflight magazine, that I found in another seat.

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Taxiing in the runway before taking off.

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A glimpse of the sunset before we take off

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Turning around

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Some small island shortly after take off

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Our captain


Inflight entertainment


Approaching Panama City

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Bridge of the Americas

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Lining up in preparation for landing

Arrival Airport:


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You can easily tell who´s the largest operator in Albrook Panama Airport.

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Control Tower and fire fighters

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Fokker 50, so big that it can´t land in Contadora

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Last flight of the day for our Cessna

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Bye bye Caravan, it was a pleasure flying with you.

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Terminal building


Baggage claiming area, no carousel, just the bags being left in the floor for passengers to pick them up.

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Empty check-in area at this time of the day.

Bonus : Click here to display


Some pics of this beautiful island, I can´t wait to come back :)

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Playa Ejecutiva

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Playa Larga

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Playa Larga and its abandoned ferry

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Playa de las Suecas

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Playa Cacique

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Playa de las Suecas

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Amazing sunrise at Playa Larga
See more

Verdict

Air Panama

6.0/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment7.0
Buy on board5.0

Contadora - OTD

5.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access9.0
Services2.0
Cleanliness5.0

Albrook - PAC

5.3/10
Efficiency6.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

The best of this flight was the experience as a whole, no terminal, no catering on board, no flight attendants, no inflight entertainment, but one of the best fligths I ever had.

Related

9 Comments

  • Comment 457951 by
    nechus SILVER 500 Comments

    What an experience!!! It's simply.... otherwordly!!!

    Contadora seems to match the stereotype of a laid-back tropical destination perfectly! The shade of a tree is the waiting room! The airport is "airside" and the whole island is "landside"! It's complete relaxation!!!

    The title for the route map in the inflight magazine couldn't have been more accurate: "Live an unforgettable experience."

    It's very interesting that passengers are weighed along with their baggage. I have heard of small planes crashing because the passengers were heavier than estimated. Air Midwest 5481, for example.

    I loved your report. I was like "wow!! wow!! woooow!!" from beginning to end.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!!!

  • Comment 457981 by
    Zadas88 7 Comments

    Wow! Amazing report! Thanks! I visited Panama a few times as well but have never been in Contadora. Need to put it up my list for my next visit. I am just curious- was there any security check? Or not at all? Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Comment 458175 by
      flyLWA AUTHOR 21 Comments

      Hey! Thanks for your comments, you should definitely go to Contadora next time you are in Panama.
      There was no security check at all, just passport check when check-in and no safety demo on board.
      On the inbound flight out of PAC there were proper formalities, proper check-in (also wheighting passengers, but on the desk scales) and proper security checks.
      Thanks for reading :)

  • Comment 458213 by
    Chibcha 418 Comments

    I always wanted to see what is it like to arrive to PAC, I bet it must be amazing in real life!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 458904 by
    okapi GOLD 2316 Comments

    Thinking about a place where you could fit a swim in the sea and an ice cold beer right in between checking-in and boarding the plane, this is the place to be!
    Thank you so so much for sharing this awesome most exotic flight-report! I seldom check the English pages as I am more active on the French side but this report is a real gem. It's all about aviation, miles away from our boring A320s and B737s commuting moments. Truly a must read.
    Kudos!

  • Comment 459072 by
    flyLWA AUTHOR 21 Comments

    Hey! thanks for your nice words :)
    That was my intention, to post something different and I´m glad you liked it.
    Thanks for reading!

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