Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3780 times:
The most credible information that I have been able to get is that beginning March, CONVIASA will start:
Caracas - Madrid 2 x weekly (Code shared with Air Europa) A340
Caracas - Porlamar - Madrid 1 x weekly A340
Caracas - Santiago de Compostela 1 x weekly (767 for summer)
Future E.U. growth will be based on picking up the old route rights of VIASA that other Venezuelan airlines have not bothered to pick up - such as:
Buenos Aires (will be known as "La ruta del Che")
First of all, I have no doubt they will open all these destinations given that Conviasa has all the backing from the Venezuelan government which is swimming in large proceeds from the high revenues of oil.
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3693 times:
Quoting Anxebla (Reply 1): I wonder why not Canary Islands (TFS and/or LPA) are not included in that list
Tenerife is already served by Santa Barbara. There's not enough traffic that justifies two carriers. During Summer when demand picks up, SB jumps its frequencies to two weekly.
There's really no need for LPA, since most people are going to Tenerife.
No other Venezuelan airline has bothered with SCQ. SCQ could work well if they just try to connect it with their flight to EZE and maybe GRU, since they can pick up more people there going to that region of Spain. That is what VIASA used to do.
Civilav From Mexico, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 13 Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 3619 times:
Quoting SOUTHAMERICA (Reply 4): I seem to recall that Avensa also served Santiago de Compostela
Yes, Avensa did serve the route for a time. Galician expatriates and descendants are a very important contingent in Venezuela and the route to Santiago used to be very important for Viasa.
Avensa did try to get it back (with the opening of the highway between Porto and Vigo and the absence of Venezuelan carriers between 1997 and 1999, TAP very conveniently "absorbed" this demand by channeling traffic through Porto) and had regular weekly flights with twice weekly during the summer months.
Santa Barbara, which picked up routes to Spain, has not quite bothered too much with Santiago de Compostela though they seem to be changing their minds as expansion in Europe beckons.
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 23 hours ago) and read 3582 times:
Quoting Civilav (Reply 5): Yes, Avensa did serve the route for a time. Galician expatriates and descendants are a very important contingent in Venezuela and the route to Santiago used to be very important for Viasa.
Avensa did try to get it back (with the opening of the highway between Porto and Vigo and the absence of Venezuelan carriers between 1997 and 1999, TAP very conveniently "absorbed" this demand by channeling traffic through Porto) and had regular weekly flights with twice weekly during the summer months. Santa Barbara, which picked up routes to Spain, has not quite bothered too much with Santiago de Compostela though they seem to be changing their minds as expansion in Europe beckons.
Don't forget that Air Europa has flown it during the past two years only on a seasonal basis and as a one way CCS-SCQ-MAD. On the return, people have to get back using one of several weekly MAD-CCS flights. I think this year Conviasa will take it over for Air Europa given their close cooperation.
As a matter of fact, it was on a trip that Hugo Chavez made to Galicia late last year that his buddy, the president of Conviasa formally announced that SCQ would for sure be on their route map as soon as they got underway with their ability to fly to Europe.
From looking at VIASA's and Avensa's past service to the destination, it appears that the route only performs during the summers and December/early January. I think VIASA flew it throughout the year on a once a week basis as: CCS-LIS-SCQ--and to a small extent--VIASA had the ability to connect people from deep South America to feed its European services from CCS.
Civilav Do you know when VIASA started serving SCQ? I know that they stopped flying there a little less than one year before they shut down as a result of IB's orders.
VIASA began flying to Santiago de Compostela in 1979 when its DC-10 fleet was large enough (6 in all) to serve all European routes with the plane.
That year, services to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands were also begun with a twice weekly CCS-LPA-FRA run.
Services to Santiago were very diverse. I myself flew VIASA to Britain on two occasions (1985 and 1988) going through Santiago. This was no summer or Christmas high peak season but April and November respectively and the plane almost emptied at Labacolla airport. I mean, the flight was CCS-SCQ-ORY-LHR and on both occasions almost 60% of the passengers got off at the then tiny Galician terminal.
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 hours ago) and read 3464 times:
That's very interesting! I did hear that this was one of VIASA's most popular routes and it is so interesting that VIASA was the airline in Latin America that served the most destinations in Europe.
SCQ is quite interesting in that for being such a small airport, its has had it share of transatlantic services - mainly to Latin America. Latin American airlines include: VIASA, Avensa, Cubana de Aviacion, Aerolineas Argentinas.
Something interesting is that someone once told me that this route was somewhat notorious for VIASA during the 80s, as it was used by drug smugglers who would try to get their merchandise into Spain choosing this flight specifically because it was landing in a small airport and, at one point, had less scrutiny than Barajas. Of course, once the authorities cought on to the situation it was no less evident than in Barajas.
797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1845 posts, RR: 26 Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3377 times:
Well, I must say I'm a bit puzzled...
First of all I don't know if I should be so happy with Conviasa starting this kind of services. Despite V0 is Venezuelan, it's owned by the government and it's main concept is not so friendly...(I don't want to start a political debate here)
Now, It means a lot to Venezuela to be present on many countries we used to be when VIASA, and that's the good part. I have no doubt Conviasa will do a superb job on these services, since I've heard that their CCS-PMV and BOG services are punctual and excellent. Now, if that's really going to happen, we are going to see some good movements here in Venezuela:
I'd say that if Conviasa goes big, as if they had a great service and people started liking the airline, competitors will have to adjust their services to level up with them. What I mean is that we might have a new carrier in Venezuela that will mean a serious competitor to the other European carriers. The possible scenario would be AZ, IB, AF and/or TP upgrading their services and offering better fares, since Conviasa is known for their ridiculously cheap prices...
In the other hand, I think it will be hard to see Conviasa going to the states at least for a long period of time. We all know what our "beloved" president thinks about Bush and his administration, and viceversa. Actually, I've heard several times that V0 is having trouble with the permissions to fly to the States, and I think that would be a BIG issue.
The States is a big point for Conviasa. AA is dominant on the CCS-U.S.A. flights; then DL, CO and S3. So, if V0 comes up with their low-pricing and their good services, people will obviously want to fly them...
Quoting JJJM (Reply 9): Any news on Conviasa starting CCS-MEX, CCS-MIA, CCS- JFK, CCS-EZE, CCS-GRU, CCS-LIM?
I have not heard anything regarding V0 flying to MEX, MIA or JFK... As I said before, I think it will be quite hard to fly to the US and even to MEX since Chavez recently had some problems with President Fox.
I think we should wait and see what happens. Europe will not be a problem for Conviasa, and especially Spain, since Mr. Chavez has persuaded that country in many ways
Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3290 times:
From what I understand EZE is a top priority for them. They might start EZE as early as this summer. Remember, both governments are very tight and this is definitely a way to increase connections between the two. Sounds something out of the 60s, and this is something out of the 60s!
They would do justice if they fly to MEX, by lowering down fares given MX's monopoly.
But, this is Conviasa and they run things not necessarily on the basis of your regular profit/goal oriented driven airline.
Do I look like I'm kidding! That's what Wilmer Castro the pres. of ConViasa said himself. In fact, I have no doubt that when Conviasa starts service to EZE, Chavez himself will baptize the route as "La Ruta del Che".
Quoting 797 (Reply 10): The States is a big point for Conviasa. AA is dominant on the CCS-U.S.A. flights; then DL, CO and S3. So, if V0 comes up with their low-pricing and their good services, people will obviously want to fly them...
They could very well start service to the U.S., (MIA, MSY), but like all Venezuelan carriers, they'll have to subcontract their service to a third party carrier due to Venezuela's category 2 rating. Remember that through PDVSA's CITGO, there's a lot of business traffic that has to fly back and forth on a regular basis.
The U.S. cannot bar CONVIASA from flying into its territory, just because it is an airline created by the ideology of Hugo Chavez. But then again, I can imagine the airline being heavily on the watch list of U.S. intelligence.
This is very true. Security checks at Labacolla airport were derisory compared to the ones at Barajas and, for a while, it was a favourite entry point for "mules" from Venezuela and Colombia carrying their special consignments to Europe.
The nickname for this flight was the "narcoexpress".
Overall, though, VIASA's success with passengers from inception in 1961 till it became "privatised" in august 1991 (you cannot claim a State airline is privatised when it is handed over the State airline of another country !) was not so much with its routes as with its superior in flight service in terms of cuisine, personal care and attention and overall hospitality vis-à-vis competitors. Its Flight Attendants, on average, were far more polite, helpful, warm and friendly than the average with other airlines. Despite IBERIA's strength, Viasa, even in the 1960s when services were pooled (Iberia/KLM/Viasa), managed to get over 65% of the Spain-bound market and over 55% of the overall European market. That is a tough act to follow.
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2666 posts, RR: 14 Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3199 times:
Wow, Civilav, thanks for that info. "Narcoexpress" Isn't that interesting. And this was VIASA. Can you imagine what AVIANCA has had to endure?
If they just would have sold it to KLM instead of IB, VIASA would have shared the same fate that Kenya Airways has had since its been privatized. I know it was all a political move, but VIASA and KLM already had a close bond! And yes, any Latin American airline is much better when it comes to having friendly service when compared to Iberia. Like SB airlines likes to put it today "Vuele con Calidez Venezolana." I think that it also has to do with the Latin American spirit - especially if its from a country like Venezuela where people are known to be very friendly.
One more thing is that since VIASA, there hasn't been a Venezuelan airline that can really develop Margarita Island's tourism to the European market. I know there's European airlines flying to Porlamar, but if I remember correctly, VIASA had developed flights from there to Germany and Spain.
Well, but then again, its not like AeroMexico flies between Cancun and Europe, right.
Yes LatinPlane.. things would have been quite different, I assure you !
VIASA nurtured a very special bond with KLM since its creation. The founders had vision and understood that who better than the oldest airline in the world to liaise with ?
To give you pointers:
At one stage in the late 1960s and early 70s, Viasa pilots and crew flew for KLM even on services as far afield as Indonesia.
This enabled VIASA to fly 747-200 equipment in 1972 (being the first LatinAmerican airline to do so) and to introduce DC-10-30 planes as early as April 1974, again another first for a L.A. airline.
VIASA even benefited from KSSU (KLM/Swissair/Scandinavian/UTA) group aircraft maintenance and training facilities in Europe.
This relationship continued till 1984 when the then new airline President (Luis Ignacio Mendoza) abrogated all ties with KLM and teamed up with Swissair instead. Things were never the same.
Of course, the political decision to hand VIASA over in a plate to a deficit-run State enterprise as Iberia was in those days, led to the fatal consequences we all know. The worst decision was made by the Caldera Government (1994-99) of not putting in cash or exercising their Golden share right as the Argentinian govt. eventually did faced with an even worse situation with Aerolíneas. In January 1997, the Venezuelan Govt. simply pulled the plug and let the airline go under amid worker militancy, Spanish government reticence and huge debts no-one wanted to be responsible for. In passing, truth be said, those debts were incurred exclusively since the airline became nationalised in 1976.