TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras–Regional Honduran Airline AEROLINEAS SOSA is expanding its network to neighboring Guatemala operating its only jet, a Bombardier CRJ-100. The airline operates mainly as a domestic airline in Honduras, serving Tegucigalpa, Sam Pedro-Sula, La Ceiba, Brus Laguna, Puerto Lempira, the Bay Islands (Roatan, Utila and Guanaja) and their only international flight to George Town in Grand Cayman. Their fleet is composed of 4 LET L-410 UVP, 2 BAe Jetstream 31s, 2 Saab 340 and 1 Britten-Norman Islander. The airline sports a blue and white livery and the Honduran flag on the tail, as one time now defunct flag carriers TAN and SAHSA used to have. In all Central America the existing small airlines are expanding its route structures (Air Panama, TAG of Guatemala and now Aerolineas Sosa) and in other countries start-ups (El Salvador, Costa Rica and Nicaragua) could be partly after Avianca’s take-over of Central American airline TACA.
GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman–National flag carrier Cayman Airways Ltd. could enter a new phase of expansion during 2014 that could include new routes to Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. The airline was established and started operations on August 7th, 1968. It was formed following the Cayman Government’s purchase of 51% of Cayman Brac Airways from LACSA (the now defunct Costa Rican flag carrier) and became wholly government owned in December 1977. A few months after it was formed, Cayman Airways flew its first international route to Kingston, Jamaica leasing a LACSA BAC-111-500. The airline acquired its first jet aircraft in 1978 and began services to Houston. In 1982 the airline acquired a Boeing 727-200 aircraft to strengthen the airline’s regional and international capability, also allowing for the introduction of first class service. These jets were eventually replaced with Boeing 737-300 series, and during the 1980s Cayman Airways offered scheduled or charter service to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, & St. Louis. As the national flag carrier for the Cayman Islands, Cayman Airways now operates non-stop Boeing 737 jet service between Grand Cayman and the following major US cities: Miami and Tampa, Florida; Washington DC; New York, New York; and Chicago, Illinois. Nonstop jet service is also provided between Grand Cayman and regional destinations, including: Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Havana, Cuba; and La Ceiba, Honduras.The airline’s Cayman Airways Express service also operates Twin Otter aircrafts between Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
PANAMA CITY,Panama–After becoming the sole domestic airline, Air Panama is ready to expand its wings and move into the “Major Leagues” of the airline business. On August 2013 the airline received one Boeing 737-300 and another on October adding to the existing fleet of regional jets Fokker 100s and a Fokker 70. It is expected Air Panama to announce in the next months the new international routes but is rumored the 737s will be used for flights to San Jose, Costa Rica; several cities in Colombia, Miami and also the Cayman Islands. Flights to other Central American cities are a possibility. As of June 2013, the airline is awaiting the approval of both the Panamanian and Caymanian aeronautical authorities for these scheduled passenger flights. After the demise of Air Panama International in 1990, the name was unused until in 2006 when PARSA (the original name of Air Panama), adopted the iconic name. Air Panama operates from both Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport (Albrook) and Tocumen International Airport.
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.