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
( 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.