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Viasa

Viasa was an acronymun for Venezolana Internacional De Aviacion SA. Viasa was Venezuela's national airline.

History Viasa started in 1967, after an agreement was reached by KLM and the Venezuelan government. Under the agreement, KLM would provide Viasa with technical, mechanical, directional and economic assistance. The airline's first flight was from Caracas to Amsterdam on a DC-8 that was leased from KLM.

During the 1970s, Viasa grew up into a large international airline, buying equipment such as DC-10, Boeing 727 and Boeing 747 aircraft. It became a fully government owned airline in the early 1970s, and it started flights to London, Rome, Madrid, New York, Miami, Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, all over the rest of the Caribbean and South America. The DC10's were used on the routes to the farther Caribbean and South American cities, such as San Juan and Buenos Aires. They were also used on the United States routes. Douglas DC-9 and 727's were used on the shorter Caribbean and South American routes as well as for domestic flights, and the 747's were used for the European routes.

Viasa kept on good economical shape until the middle 1980s, when financial trouble began to loom and the company started cutting routes. In early 1992, it was bought over by Iberia, and Iberia changed the airline's livery, to make their planes look similar to those of Iberia. Soon, many of the 727's began over taking the DC-10 jets on the few long routes remaining, but the airline's shape, combined with the world wide airline situation that had been left over by the Gulf War oil crisis, made the airline cut all United States routes and concentrate on South American and domestic routes only.

Eventually, in January of 1997, Viasa went bankrupt. Relationships between the airline's leaders and it's workers were so strained by then, that many pilots and stewardesses found out about the bankrupcy thru the media, such as newspapers and television news. A photo of a group of Viasa pilots finding of the airline's bankrupcy by reading about it on a newspaper was distributed all over Latin American newspapers.

Viasas livery consisted of a silver on the belly, white on the top part of the fuselage color, with orange and blue cheatlines that went all the way to the start of the tail. The fuselage featured the name Viasa written in orange on top of the cheatlines. The tail was all orange, with the name Viasa in white. After Iberia took over, all the fuselage went white, and so did the tail. The cheatlines were made thicker around the plane's cockpit, to resemble Iberia's planes. Viasa had agreements with Schabak and Gemini Jets[?] to produce their die-cast airplane models[?], and with Hasegawa[?] of Japan to produce their plastic plane models.

Nowadays Perhaps surprisingly, Viasa is remembered fondly by many Venezuelans. There have been attempts to revive the airline, and most of Viasa's routes have been handled over by the Venezuelan Government to rivals Avensa[?] and Servivensa[?].



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