Updated: Nonstop Dubai – Panama

May 2016: Emirates has postponed this service until end of 2016 or early 2017. However, Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Turkish Airlines from Istanbul have begun their regular flights.

More important: Copa Airlines is now flying on 7 days a week between Panama City, Panama and San Francisco, CA.

END_OF_UPDATE

Doing the longest regular airliner flight is something special; for the carrier, the manufacturer and for the destinations.

Starting February 1, 2016 an Emirates Boeing 777-200LR will take off as flight EK251 from Dubai to Panama City, non-stop.

Arrival in Panama at 4:40 pm, after not less than 17 hours and 35 minutes for this 13,800 km trip.

It is the #5 airline with a direct trans-atlantic connection to Panama, Dubai joins Amsterdam (KLM), Lisboa (TAP), Madrid (Iberia) and Paris (Air France), Frankfurt (Lufthansa) will follow one month later. in March 2016.

emirates777

commons.wikimedia.org

Since Singapore Airlines has terminated their ultra-long non-stop flights to New York and Los Angeles, nowadays these are the longest ones:

Quantas between Sidney and Dallas (B747)

Delta between Atlanta and Johannesburg (B777)

Emirates between Dubai and Los Angeles (A380)

Emirates between Dubai and Dallas, Houston and San Francisco (B777).

This new flight is even longer and is the first non-stop connection between Middle East and Latin America.

The fact that Panama has been selected underlines the growing economic importance of this small country and takes advantage of Tocumen International Airport as “Hub of the Americas”, reaching all of Central-/South America and many places in the Caribbean.

Tocumen’s new South Terminal, designed by Sir Norman Foster, will be ready, just in time, to welcome Emirates.

terminalsur

commons.wikimedia.org

Why Panama does not have to copy the Silicon Valley to succeed

In an interesting blogpost, Peter Diamandis explained the success of the valley with the arrival of new-type coffee shops as place to gather and network, then with the high density of tech people, reducing the risk of failing, as there are many more positions and opportunities waiting.

Based on that, the other ingredients – contributors, culture, capital – grew organically, cumulating innovation power, delivering success along the road.

All this has been and is happening despite some harsh conditions, like climate, immigration and tax rules. How much easier should it be to achieve such success under Panama’s tropical living conditions, in its relaxed business, immigration and tax environment?

SkylineTrumpFerryWeit_9656

Leaving Panana City on express ferry, heading Las Perlas Archipelago, 35 nautical miles off the coast. Sea water temperature 28C/87F

Being a successful entrepreneur in Panama appears to be much more attractive then up there. Lifestyle, costs of living, investment opportunities, to mention a few.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur in Panama must not be more difficult.

Creating perfect conditions to attract entrepreneurs to start and thrive their high-tech business here in Panama is the task at hand.   

Getting closer to be the next startup mecca

Peter Diamandis had asked this week “Where do you think the next mecca for tech startups will be?”.

I doubt if Mecca is an appropriate synonym, but my response has been: “The next mecca for tech startups needs tropical lifestyle, more favourable immigration and tax rules. How about ?”

And I mean it. You just don’t have to have everything together in one place anymore.

Technology creates conditions, overcoming obstacles to create technology.

Skype, Hangout, Facetime enable people to work together, no matter where.

Freelancer.com and others find outsourced capacity for almost every job imaginable.

Kickstarter.com and others facilitate project funding.

Codepath.com does free education for Android and iOS coding.

WeWork.com has temporary space to meet, hang around and work with peers.

So if everybody can take advantage of technological progress as mentioned, the general, surrounding conditions become more important: quality of life.

What else do we need here in Panama?

– Transform a crazy idea into a bold target,

– Get the right people together

– Build and work an actionable plan.

#exPANAMAnding opportunities

What Panama has to offer Silicon Valley companies, benefitting both

Upcoming countries, like Panama, have to figure out how to become and stay competitive in the future.

The Panama Canal with logistics, a solid financial sector, mining and tourism are already in place and growing. Starting a business is easy to do.

facebook.com/canaldepanama

facebook.com/canaldepanama

But how about high tech and a way to prepare the younger generation? Panama should seriously consider high-tech initiatives.

Of course, there is no way to copy something like the “Valley”. It has been tried already. But Panama is ideal to become a SECOND HOME & BOOTCAMP FACILITY for SV companies. And a super-affordable springboard for hightech startups anyway.

City of Knowledge, a special economic zone at the banks of the Panama Canal, only 15 minutes from downtown PanamaCity, is the right place to begin with.

City of Knowledge PTY

City of Knowledge PTY

Stay tuned how this project goes along.

Better weather

In 2000, Dr. David Viner, a climatologist with CRU said: “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

CNN today, 15 years later: “Boston has its snowiest month on record.” (since 1872)

Panama today: Another fine day, 30C/86F and sunshine.

lonelybeachumbrella

Could be your place to relax or to develop some ideas. All year round. Walking the beach is my preferred activity to think about issues and come up with fresh ideas.

Or take a small plane, head South over the Pacific Ocean and enjoy Las Perlas Archipelago views and beaches after less than 30 minutes. There are 7 airstrips on different islands to choose from.

Las Perlas island

Tropical lifestyle comes with a much better and healthy work-life balance.

And, don’t worry about snowfalls.

Earthquakes here and there

Tuesday morning at 4, a swinging movement woke us up in our 11th floor condo. For about 30 seconds the ground was shaking, smooth but very remarkable. 6.7 as USGS told us and 280 km away.

The first one we’ve experienced in Panama 2009 was pushing harder and moved us newcomers out. As the only ones.

In the meantime, earthquakes like in Colombia and Guatemala have left asking ourselves if there was “too much alcohol last night?” or “not enough water this morning?”, before USGS gave the true reason for the dizzy feeling.

So our earthquake experience during 6 years in Panama has been tranquilo. Confirmed by, yes, USGS again. Here’s the picture:

usgs_seismic_panama

Looking good, whereby the diameter stands for strength and the data begun as late as of 1973.

Same timeframe for California looks like this:

usgs_seismic_california

Well, there has been more action, right where the action is – Silicon Valley area. This, by the way, has been a selling point of Texas-based Rackspace.com in their early years and worked out nicely: Put your servers where there are no earthquakes.

How about your talents?

First things first

What a coincidence: While our friends told us about the first first 25 cm of snow near Toronto today, the Playa Blanca Airport had the first arrival of a Sunwing 737 from Montreal.

From now on, the Playa Blanca Airport (MPSM) will receive 2 Canadian charterflights per week and a third one from Quebec is scheduled from mid of December. Just the right time to get out of the cold.

Also this week, United has announced a new service from Denver to Panama City (MPTO), starting December 3. Becoming more and more easy to come to Panama.