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Photo © Andre Quiros
SANSA (Servicios Aéreos Nacionales S.A.) is the Costa Rican national “flag” carrier, founded by LACSA (Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses) back in 1983. Characterized by Costa Rican flag paint scheme along the vertical stabilizer (in my opinion, a beautiful paint scheme), a few years ago it acquired some Cessna Caravans and registered them in Costa Rica as TI
-LR*, where LR
intended to stand for “Lacsa Regional”. With all Central American nations flag carriers, except Panama’s, merging into TACA (Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos) a few years ago, so did the regional carriers belonging to each company, and the independent Aeroperlas (Aerovías del Pacífico Atlántico), Panama’s domestic carrier, as COPA (Compañia Panameña de Aviación) affiliated with Continental Airlines. Them (COPA), by the way, had no business relation with Aeroperlas.
As a result of that merger, a homogeneous paint scheme was adopted by all international and domestic carriers belonging to the new TACA. Seems like Aeroperlas management and capital, hence the control, took over Sansa in Costa Rica. As a result, and also a very smart move, they deregistered the TI
- Caravans already owned by Sansa and acquired some new ones, to be registered in Panama as SA
)">HP-****APP, where APP is intended to stand for “Aero Perlas Panama”. Being SA
)">HP- registered planes, they “skip” tax payment in Costa Rica, which I was told not from an official font, is an average ratio of 12:1 in taxes % compared to Panama’s.
I’ve also heard the SA
)">HP-APP Aeroperlas/Sansa 208B Caravan fleet consists of 9 airframes, at www.aviacioncr.net/registro,
an unofficial registry of Costa Rican planes, though as Sansa Caravan’s are so common around here we included them, I found 9 regs, but they seem to skip some, so there might be some more.
Even thought the fleet consists of 9? Caravans, Sansa uses to keep 4 at their hub (SJO
/MROC-San José, Costa Rica/Juan Santamaría Intl.) while Aeroperlas flies the remaining Caravans. Planes are in a constant rotation due to Panama’s regulations, and Sansa brings some extra Caravans, 2 or 3, for the high season.
Here’s the list of the 9 known-at-the-moment Aeroperlas/Sansa C208B P&W PT6A series powered Grand Caravans.
)">HP-1357APP (Crashed at Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica Aug/26/00 2+8 killed.)
)">HP-1397APP (Crashed in Panama Aug/16/04)
)">HP-1399APP (featuring a paint scheme similar to Aviateca’s ATRs)
)">HP-1403APP (Emergency landing at Ballena Bay, Costa Rica Jul/02/03. No injuries. Aircraft was sent to US for repair and is still on comercial service)
)">HP-1405APP (Crashed at Chontal Mount, Costa Rica Nov/28/01. 2+1 killed. 5 injured.)
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Photo © Daniel Umaña
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Photo © Peter Villain
Can anyone tell me what they used to fly besides Cessna Grand Caravans?
Richie, as for what they used to fly, up to my knowledge they’ve operated DC-3, Casa 212 and Piper PA-34. Probably more types but I don’t know anything other than that. Them, however, every once in a while need TACSA (Taxi Aéreo Centroamericano) to help them out when there’s high demand or overbookings, so TI
-ATZ DHC-6 and TI
-ATU PA-31 operate in behalf of Sansa airlines pretty often.
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Photo © Diego Alonso Romero Alvarado
I dont know if it was part of the current Sansa, but back in 2003, there was a very short lived Sansa operating a 737-300 from Managua to Miami.
MIAx707, as I stated above, SANSA stands for Servicios Aéreos Nacionales and is the Costa Rican “flag” domestic carrier. I was pretty much surprised when I first read your post... I said... Sansa... Nicaragua... 733... Miami... no way! after figuring out what could it be, I came up to the conclusion that the SANSA you refer to may stand for... Servicios Aéreos NICARAGÜENSES, or something like that (the SA
on both stands for Sociedad Anónima by the way.) Interesting info though, I never heard of that Nicaraguan airline failure before.
They fly Cessna Grand Caravans and ATRs also.
TACAA320, good to see people from Costa Rica around here. I don’t post often, if you’ve noticed... as for your statement, you’ve to take out ATRs from the list. SANSA first of all, doesn’t operate them because none of the airports they serve (except Liberia Intl. MRLB and maybe Golfito B.A.N. MRGF) are able to handle an ATR. Second, air demand in Costa Rica is divided in between them (SANSA) and Nature Air, and a large amount of charter carriers, causing all of them to have small capacity planes in their fleets, none exceeding the 18-seater Twin Otter.
It is an ATR42. It is now used by Aviateca for TA and LR flights
Hi MGASJO, well as I was telling to TACAA320, SANSA doesn’t operates ATRs. I’d like to add a couple of things to your comment: first, Aviateca’s (Isleña owned) ATRs are operated only under the Aviateca callsing, therefore they don’t operate TA
Also, Aeroperlas Panama is renewing their fleet by adding ATR 42s to replace the old Shorts 360 they have.
Hope this helps.