Ua747-400 From Venezuela, joined Feb 2000, 20 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2088 times:
Hey guys and gals,
I was wondering if any of you remember Viasa which was Venezuelas flag carrier until 1996.
I think the two things I remember most were the Viasa and Pan Am planes standing beside each other. And the great in flight service they had.
It was an airline that made all of Venezuela proud, and we truly miss her.. Hope to read some good anecdotes....ohh and PAN AM rocks!!!!
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2047 times:
Yes I remember very well VIASA! This airline was very popular and regular in LIS for many years. I have a few episodes with VIASA. First one was my father that told me. In 1961 KLM had used their DC-8's to make VIASA flights from AMS to CCS via LIS ( tech stop ), normally the plane had KLM livery with VIASA titles, the cockpit crew was dutch and cabin F/A's venezuelan. This DC-8 arrived late in the evenning, refuelled and left again. My father worked in a catering company and had contact with all crew that night, after the plane took-off a few minutes latter he saw a big bright light in the skies and soon found out that the DC-8 exploded just a few miles outside Lisbon in a place called Fonte da Telha, all passengers and crew died. My father latter was interviewed by the police. Rumours say that the cause of the explosion was a wrong type of fuel in the DC-8, and this could actually be the cause, specially taking in account that in those days the jets and piston planes were running together and specially the late piston airplanes had high-octane fuel so that could have been the reason.
When I was a child, maybe 4 or 5 I was going often with my dad to LIS airport and one day I remember seeing landing a KLM DC-8, the plane landed long so for a few minutes I lost sight of the DC-8, when I saw it comming again it was now a VIASA DC-8, I was a small child and I asked my dad were the KLM DC-8 was? I was sure I saw it and now I was just seeing a VIASA one that I don't remember seeing landing. Of course my father laughted and showed me that this particular DC-8 had 2 liveries, one side was KLM another side VIASA. Latter this confusion ended when VIASA started their own flights, first of all flying the good old DC-8-63, I still remember vividly these Super Sixties, and latter and finnally the DC-10-30. A curious moment was after the AA DC-10 crash in Chicago all DC-10's were gounded for a few weeks and suddenly LIS was a place to see some airliners that replaced the DC-10 normally in Latin American routes - Lufthansa flew the 707, SWISSAIR the DC-8-62, Varig the 707-400 and VIASA returned with the DC-8-63.
Then VIASA stopped flying and that was another of those classic airlines that we miss. They used to fly to Santiago de Compostela from LIS, I don't know why but that was one of those interesting flights they had.
I hope you like my recalling moments.
Chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6095 posts, RR: 11 Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2016 times:
I remember Viasa vividly, as a young kid my parents would take me on the weekends to SJU and I would just love watching those Viasa A300's- those colorful orange tails always amazed me . I never had the privilage of flying with them but it was a real shame what happened to such a proud carriers as Viasa. Aeropostal has done a decent job but it definitely is not the same- RIP Viasa (what was once a proud and powerful airline in South America).
Prinair From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 744 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1996 times:
Chepos I remember when they flew the DC10 into SJU. Unfortunately I do not think that VIASA was ever profitable. I still have some inflight service brochures which depict the interior of the DC10 and their meal service. It was all very nice.
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4210 posts, RR: 36 Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1980 times:
Is Aeropostal doing fine now? Also St. Barbara is trying to get an international network.
Can someone here confirm though if Avensa and Servivensa are grounded? I heared rumors last winter but maybe it was a temporary thing due to the fuel strikes.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Lan_Fanatic From Chile, joined Sep 2001, 1071 posts, RR: 6 Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1908 times:
But Iberia wasn't the best doing that.
Look what happened with Viasa and Aerolineas Argentinas.
Iberia also had a stake in Ladeco, the chilean airline that competed with LanChile with a fleet of 737s,727s and 757s...fell into red numbers, and LanChile swallowed it.
BGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1888 times:
Yes Viasa was great. Actually the first plane ride of my life was on a Viasa DC-8 when I was 2 yrs old: BGI-POS-CCS-POS-BGI.
The last time I ever flew with them was on one of their MD-80s, again going BGI-POS-CCS-POS-BGI in August on 1983. I remember the food was really good and the flight attendants very friendly. Was very sad was Viasa went out of business.
It's such a shame that Aeropostal is basically the only true international airline now in Venezuela. I miss seeing Aeropostal's planes at MCO. I assume with the situation in Venezuela it will be a very long time before we ever see direct service between Central Florida and Caracas again. Aeropostal was serving Orlando Sanford for a while, does anyone know if that is still the case??
MD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 876 posts, RR: 9 Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1841 times:
I flew Viasa a couple of times in the 60s, short flights from Aruba to Caracas and Caracas to Curacao. Both were on DC-8-50s, one of them planes had the KLM titles on one side, Viasa on the other. Despite the short flights, I remember their service was very good.
Unfortunately, that's the extent of my flying on Viasa.
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1824 times:
Viasa - Venezolana Internacional de Aviacion S.A.
VIASA, was Venezuela's national airline and like most large Venezuelan institutions was created from the capital produced from the oil industry that made the country one of the richest in the Americas throughout most of the 20th century.
Their international network was truly impressive. They had the most international destinations of any airline in Latin America. An impressive accomplishment considering the fact that they only had 5 DC-10s to operate them.
To Europe, they flew to the following cities:
Santiago de Compostela
I think you are correct, in the fact that they really never made a profit. As they were a direct institution of the Venezuelan government, one of their reasons for being was to promote Venezuela and they did a pretty good job of doing it. When things started getting bad in the country, in the 80s, the government couldn't really continue to support it and it was left to fend for its own, but it was a over bloated as any other government institution.
Avensa still flies using Servivensa's air certificate. They have a very limited domestic presence, but at least they didn't completely disappear. Check out their website.
They have small commuter fleet of aircraft. I believe Aeropostal isn't doing too well. Santa Barbara is Venezuela's flag carrier to Europe, plus they fly to several other Caribbean and South American destinations using their ATR's and one B727.
Turk223 From Barbados, joined Aug 2003, 380 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1815 times:
I remember when Viasa was using their then brand new MD-80s on the BGI-POS-CCS service in the early 80s. It was my first MD-80 and was amazed at how much more quite they were compared to the BWIA DC-9-50s.
Hey BGIplanefreak - looks like we may both be from Barbados. I bet we could share a lot of stories...
Il75 From Argentina, joined May 2001, 261 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1787 times:
I must be getting old since I can not tell what year I flew Viasa and from where to where. I have never been a frequent flyer so I should be able to keep a better track of my trips :-(
In any case what I do remember is that it was a DC-10 and that it was the first time I saw this "tv-show" with a flight map, altitude, speed, etc. It was great news for me at a time some European carriers (I saw it in SAS and KLM) were circulating a paper-chart in the cabin with the flight data and a map showing our route. You tool a look at it and the you passed it on to your neighbor.
Of course, that detail of Viasa made a great impression on me. And the colorful exterior of the plan. The rest is gone.
EIrob From Sweden, joined Aug 2001, 52 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1661 times:
I remember Viasa! I flew LHR-SCL (return) via CCS *AND* EZE (I think) Sept 1995. As part of the English organisation Raleigh International. I think Viasa was some sort of sponsor for the expedition because everybody got a grey sweatshirt with the Viasa logo on. Unfortunately I lost mine a long time ago.... A shame because I thought it looked pretty good (for a grey and orange sweatshirt that is!)
YV136C From Venezuela, joined Mar 2003, 198 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1644 times:
As you may guess by my username Viasa is very close to my heart, I flew them many times as a kid and still am amazed at the huge route network they operated.....frankly, I´d like to pass on the Iberia buyout, Viasa was doing badly already but IB management just ran Viasa into the ground..at the end IB kept Viasa´s best planes and sent the others to scrapyards (Marana and Opa Locka). Thanks for this thread!