Anyone know what type of aircraft they're going to use?
State airline to start operations
BY PETER WILSON
Venezuela said its new state airline, Conviasa, will begin operations on July 5, concentrating initially on domestic routes.
Conviasa, which will have headquarters on the tourist island of Margarita, will start with short-range flights using small planes, Yomana Koteich, who heads the island's state tourism corporation, said in an interview with the state Venpres news agency.
Koteich didn't say when the carrier, which will be a joint venture of the country's armed forces and investors, will start international flights. Government officials said late last year that they would invest $16 million to start the airline and eventually sell shares to private investors.
Venezuela is counting on Conviasa to foster tourism, which has been hurt since January 1997 when flag carrier Venezolana Internacional de Aviacion SA closed operations. Viasa, as that carrier was known, had most of the country's international routes. The company filed for bankruptcy protection with about $212 million in debts.
Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, which was sold by the government in August 1996, is the country's largest carrier, serving the United States, Andean countries and the Caribbean.