Venezolana Internacional de Aviación Sociedad Anónima (English: JSC Venezuelan International Airways), or VIASA for short, was the Venezuelanflag carrier airline between 1960 and 1997.[1] It was headquartered in the Torre Viasa in Caracas.[2][3] Launched in November 1960 (1960-11),[4] it was nationalised in 1975 due to financial problems, and re-privatised in 1991, with the major stake going to Iberia. The company ceased operations in January 1997 (1997-01), and went into liquidation.

Venezuelan state-owned airline (1960-97)

IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 21 November 1960 (1960-11-21)
Ceased operations 23 January 1997 (1997-01-23)
Headquarters Caracas, Venezuela
Key people
  • Manuel Mejia (CEO)
  • Elias D. Lopez (President & Founder)

. . . Viasa . . .

A Netherlands-registered Douglas DC-8-53 in VIASA livery. (1965)
A Netherlands-registered McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 at Zürich Airport in VIASA livery with additional KLM titles, in 1978. The aircraft was leased from KLM.

Viasa was envisioned by the government of Venezuela in 1959 to create a new company that could serve as the country’s flag carrier and run without government intervention. It was set up in 1960 when the international routes operated by Línea Aeropostal Venezolana (LAV) and Avensa were merged and taken over by the newly created carrier.[5][6] The government contributed with 55% of the capital, while private investors – among which were LAV and Avensa, the latter owned by Grupo Boulton and Pan American World Airways—contributed with the remainder.[5] The board of directors came entirely from the private sector.[citation needed] The first president of the airline was Mr. R. van den Branden;[5] the first chairman of the board was Mr. Oscar Augusto Machado Zuloaga, a very competent and well liked gentleman, who was instrumental in Viasa’s commercial success and immediate acceptance by the market.

In early 1961, the airline signed an agreement with KLM to operate a Douglas DC-8 on Viasa’s behalf, aimed at starting operations to Europe in April that year;[5][7] KLM maintained a nurturing relationship with Viasa for another 24 years. In the same year, Avensa transferred two Douglas DC-6Bs to the company, as well as an order for a Convair 880-22M.[8] Viasa boosted their Convair 880 order by purchasing another one. The airline flew the type mostly on routes to North America.[9][10][11] Also in 1961, the airline joined the International Air Transport Association, becoming its 89th member.[12] In 1963, Viasa started a commercial agreement with Iberia and KLM for operations through the mid-Atlantic.[13] The same year, a third Convair 880 was ordered.[9] Until the first DC-8-50 the company had ordered in early 1965 was delivered, long-haul services using the type were provided with wet-leased aircraft from KLM.[14] The type was also chartered from KLM for deployment on the Caribbean routes.[15] By April 1966 (1966-04), the first DC-8-50 was already forming part of the company’s fleet along with the three Convair 880s, while an additional DC-8-50 was on order.[16] To complement these two DC-8-50s, the carrier ordered two Douglas DC-8-63s in early 1967.[17] Two Convair 880s were sold to Cathay Pacific in mid-1967.[18] Also in 1967, Viasa started up a Panamanian airline named Panameña Internacional de Aviación SA (PAISA), with KLM support; This company began operations on 3 May 1967 with two DC-9-10s leased to VIASA from Avensa, which were in turn sub-leased to PAISA.[19] In 1968, VIASA set up a wholly owned, non-IATA member, national cargo airline named Transportes Aereos de Carga SA, more commonly known as Transcarga, which in its beginnings served Caracas, Curaçao, Maracaibo, Miami and New York.[20]

VIASA leased this Boeing 747-200B from KLM in 1972. The aircraft wore a mixed livery during the lease agreement, with the port side in KLM colours and its starboard with a VIASA decor.[21][22]

In March 1970, the Government of Venezuela had a majority stake (55%) in the carrier, while the balance was held by private investors.[23]:508 Viasa’s fleet strength at this time was eight: two DC-8-63s, two DC-8-50s, a DC-8-50F, a Convair 880, and two DC-9-10s.[23]:509 In November 1971 (1971-11) Viasa renewed the pool agreement with KLM and Iberia on their Caribbean–Europe services;[24] to this purpose the company signed another agreement with the Dutch company in 1972, this time for the lease of a Boeing 747-200B that was put on service on a weekly round-trip Caracas–Madrid–Paris flight in April 1972 (1972-04).[22] This event was a milestone for Viasa, as it became the first South American carrier to operate wide-body aircraft across the Atlantic.[22] Through KLM, the company also placed an order for two McDonnell Douglas DC-10s the same year, and bought two Douglas DC-8-33s from the Dutch carrier as well.[22][25] Also in 1972, the route network saw the incorporation of Washington and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.[22]

With the lease of a Douglas DC-8-50 from KLM in 1974, and the sale of two aircraft of the same type to Aeroperú the same year,[26][27] by March 1975 (1975-03) the Viasa’s fleet consisted of two DC-8-63s, one DC-8-50, two DC-8-30s, and one DC-10-30, while another DC-10-30 was yet to be delivered.[28]:510 At a cost of US$30,000,000 (equivalent to $136,438,596 in 2020), another DC-10-30 was ordered in 1976, followed by an order for three more of these aircraft in July 1977 (1977-07).[29][30]

In 1983, Viasa took delivery of two McDonnell Douglas DC-9 Super 80s.[31] The early 1980s marked an overturn in the carrier’s finances, as both the worldwide collapse of oil prices in the decade and the subsequent devaluation of the bolivar since 1983[nb 1] affected the airline, which suffered a 41% drop in year-on-year traffic in 1983 and had accumulated a debt of VEB210 million in 1984, a year in which the carrier had a negative net value.[32]:22 That year, the crisis forced the company’s work force to be cut by 30%, the fleet to be reduced (partly because of noise restrictions within the United States), and some Caribbean destinations to be dropped.[32][33] Likewise, competition increased on some routes, most notably Miami and New York, where Viasa was the erstwhile sole operator or it had a single competitor at most.[32] Nevertheless, Viasa made an operating profit of VEB125 million (US$4 million) and a net profit of VEB97 million in 1986.[32]:22 In early 1988, the fleet consisted of only five DC-10s, and two Airbus A300s acquired from Lufthansa through a leasing agreement, that were deployed mostly on domestic and regional routes.[32] A Caracas–Havana service was launched in 1989, along with a stopover in São Paulo on the Caracas–Rio de Janeiro route. In March 1990, Viasa’s fleet consisted of two Airbus A300B4s, one DC-8-61HF, and five DC-10-30s, and was wholly owned by the Venezuelan government. At this time, it served a network radiating from Barcelona, Caracas, Maracaibo and Porlamar to Amsterdam, Aruba, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Curaçao, Frankfurt, Houston, Lima, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Miami, Milan, New York, Oporto, Paris, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, Santo Domingo, San Juan and Zürich. Toronto and Vancouver were served on a seasonal basis.[34]

. . . Viasa . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Viasa . . .

© 2022 The Grey Earl INFO - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy