Defunct Latin Airlines

Boliviana de Aviacion to Miami

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LA PAZ, Bolivia–Effective May 23rd, the Bolivian flag carrier Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) will start non-stop flights from La Paz to Miami. The news were announced by the airline general manager Ronald Casso at a news conference in the Bolivian capital. The airline will operate wide-bodied Boeing 767-300, like the ones its already using to Madrid. Boliviana de Aviacion operates Boeing 737-300s to Buenos Airres and Sao Paulo. Casso declared the airline’s next airport in the U.S. after Miami International will be Washington-Dulles. The biggest ethnic concentration of Bolivians is precisely in the U.S. capital.  In 1925 Guillermo Kyllmann founded in Cochabamba LAB Airlines (Lloyd Aereo Boliviano). The airline served as Bolivia’s flag carrier until it ceased operations in 2008.  In April 1992 another Bolivian airline was founded under the name of AeroSur; and it suspended its operations on May 2012. Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) is expected to also extend its operations to other ALBA counties like Venezuela and Cuba.

Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) has a fleet of Boeing 737s and 767s.
Boliviana de Aviacion (BoA) has a fleet of Boeing 737s and 767s.
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The End of an Airline

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica– January 13th, 2014 will mark the official end of an airline. This time is for LACSA (Lineas Aereas Costarricenses S.A.) that was formed by Pan American World Airways in 1945 and was the Costa Rican flag carrier ever since. The airline was owned by the Costa Rican government and domestic investors until 1991 when Federico Bloch from TACA International Airlines purchased it and merged it into the TACA Group. Since  June 1950 LACSA operated a  flight between San Jose (the Costa Rican capital) and the city of Miami. For many years the flight numbers 620 and 621 were used to identify the San Jose-Miami-San Jose run. The route was operated with Curtiss C-46 and later Douglas DC-6B. The airline received its first jetliner, the British BAC-111-400, that was promptly used for the Miami route. Later on LACSA upgraded the fleet to the BAC-111-500 and in 1979 the airline received its first Boeing 727-200 Advanced brand new from the Seattle manufacturer. After LACSA was absorbed by TACA International the flights to Miami changed its recognized flight number, but kept being marketed with the LACSA two letter code: LR. On 2009 the TACA Group was merged into Colombian flag carrier Avianca. In May 2013 Avianca decided to shut down the original LACSA hub at San Jose’s Juan Santamaria International Airport, suspending all the non-stop flights from Costa Rica to the United States. The only flight that was kept was the Miami bound flight. In December 2013 Avianca decided to finally suspend the flight, thus ending 64 years of uninterrupted service between the Costa Rican capital and Miami. January 13th will be indeed the end of an airline. RIP.

LACSA operated the Douglas DC-6 from San Jose to Miami with an intermediate stop in Grand Cayman.
In the 1950s LACSA operated the Douglas DC-6 from San Jose to Miami with an intermediate stop in Havana, Cuba.

Central American Airline Cemetery

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Aerolineas Nicaraguenses S.A. (Aeronica) has been the only Central American carrier to operate the Soviet built Tupolev TU-154M.
Aerolineas Nicaraguenses S.A. (Aeronica) has been the only Central American carrier to operate the Soviet built Tupolev TU-154M.

SAN JOSE,Costa Rica–The airline cemetery in Central America is quite full now. The airline industry has changed dramatically since it was born in the 1930s in the Isthmus. Guatemala used to have airlines like AeroQuetzal, TikalJets and flag carrier Aerolineas de Guatemala (AVIATECA). The latter was absorbed by TACA International Airlines. Honduras had several carriers, Transportes Aereos Nacionales (TAN), Servicio Aereo de Honduras (SAHSA) and SOL Air. Nicaragua had Lineas Aereas de Nicaragua (LANICA) that folded its wings in 1980. The Sandinista regime created Aerolineas Nicaraguenses S.A. (AERONICA) that also closed in the 1990s. TACA International created Nicaraguense de Aviacion (NICA) that was also absorbed into GRUPO TACA in 1998. Costa Rica has been the Central American nation with the most airlines; Empresa Nacional de Transporte Aereo (ENTA), Lineas Aereas Costarricenses (LACSA), RANSA, SANSA, Vuelos Especiales Liberianos (VEL), Aero Costa Rica S.A. (ACORISA) and Aeropostal Alas de Centro America. ACORISA operated for five years and folded its wings in September 1997. LACSA and SANSA were fully absorbed by GRUPO TACA in 1998. Panama has had several airlines too; PAISA, Air Panama International, Aeroperlas and Compañia Panameña de Aviacion (COPA). Aeroperlas was purchased by GRUPO TACA and suspended operations in 2012. Air Panama International also folded its wings after Noriega was deposed, but a new domestic airline was formed using the same name. Finally El Salvador has had only one international airline; Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos (TACA International Airlines). The airline originally was founded in Honduras in 1931 but became the Salvadorian flag carrier. In the 1990s TACA bought the flag carriers of Central America and in 2009 it was merged into Colombian airline AVIANCA.  The disappearance of all these airlines and flag carriers has created the need of new start-ups. For 2014 two new airlines will appear in Central America: LCC Salvadorian airline Vuelos Economicos Centro Americanos (VECA) and Costa Rican flag carrier TICOS AIR.

Latin Faded Glory

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Panamena Internacional de Aviacion (PAISA) operated a DC-9 in the late 1960s between Panama City-Tocumen and San Jose and Bogota. The airline lasted only a couple of years,
Panamena Internacional de Aviacion (PAISA) operated a DC-9 in the late 1960s between Panama City-Tocumen and San Jose and Bogota. The airline lasted only a couple of years.

MIAMI, Florida. —  Since the first years of civil aviation in Latin America, many airlines and flag carriers have come and go. Today household names like Mexicana, VARIG and VIASA are simply things of the past. A total of 72 international airlines have dissapeared, went bankrupt, absorbed by bigger carriers or merged into other ones. Here some of those airlines that are part of the Latin glory: ACES, Aero California, AeroCancun, Aero Caribe, Aero Costa Rica, Aerocondor Colombia, Aerocondor Peru, Aero Continente, Aeronica, Aeroperlas, AeroPeru, Aeroposta Argentina, Aeroquetzal, Aero Republica (absorbed by COPA), Aerosur, Air Aruba, Air Bahama, Air Guadaloupe, Air Haiti, Air Jamaica (absorbed by Caribbean Airlines), Air Martinique, Air Santo Domingo, Aires, ALM, APA Dominicana, Avensa, Aviandina, Aviateca (absorbed by TACA), BWIA, Dominicana de Aviacion, Ecuatoriana de Aviacion, Faucett Peru, Guyana Airways, HALISA, ICARO, Intercontinental de Aviacion, JD Valenciana, LACSA (absorbed by TACA), LADECO (merged into LAN), LANICA, LAP, LAPA, LaTur Mexico, Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, Mayan World Airways, Mexicana de Aviacion, National de Chile, NICA (absorbed by TACA), PAISA, Panagra, Panair do Brasil, PLUNA, Prinair, SAETA, SAHSA (absorbed by TACA), SAM (merged into Avianca), SAN, Servivensa, SOL Air/Aero Honduras, Southern Winds, TAESA, TAN, TANSPeru, Tikal Jets, TransBrasil, TransPeru, Universal Airways, VARIG, VASP, WayraPeru, West Caribbean and Zuliana de Aviacion.