cedars747
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What Happened To Viasa?

Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:15 pm

I would like to know what happened to Viasa airlines?I flew them once on my trip from EZE to isla Margarita via CCS.I remember the service onboard was excellent and the DC-10 splendid.Venezuela is a great country and should be represented by a strong airline
Saludos Venezuela
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
swissgabe
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:32 pm

They went bankrupt around 10 years ago. If not mistaken, Iberia had a stake in Viasa but didn't want to reinvest more money into it (or wasn't able to do so).

[Edited 2006-03-04 14:35:54]
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lamedianaranja
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sat Mar 04, 2006 11:15 pm

I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:12 am

I wonder if conviasa can be the reincarnation of viasa?
Saludos Desde Noruega
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
ba747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:11 am

Hey Alex here I go with the full story of what happen to VA. It all had to do with a lot of money involved between to presidents, which at the moment they were Carlos Andres Perez of Venezuela and Felipe Gonzalez of Spain. When IB buys VA this two guys fill their pockets with a lot of money, and at the end we venezuelans lost our airline due to terrible management from IB.
Before that happen, VA used to be the best airline in South America and probably around the world. Passengers from other Europeans airlines said they always prefer to fly VA instead of their national carriers since the service and friendliness of the crew what something special. I hope this information clears your doubts a little bit.

Saludos

Alex
The World`s Favorite Airline
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:01 am

Quoting BA747 (Reply 4):
VA used to be the best airline in South America and
probably around the world

Well sure it was ,i remember their excellent service

Quoting BA747 (Reply 4):
I hope this information clears your doubts a little bit.

All this time i was wondering how an first class airline from such rich country could ended like that,but now i have a clear idea.Thanks BA747 for this info
and wish for Venezuela prosperity and peace
Saludos Venezuela!
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:30 am

VIASA's route map was second only to VARIG (during its heyday). For example, in the 70s, VIASA had a once a week CCS-Rome-Beirut flight.

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:48 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 6):
CCS-Rome-Beirut flight

Sure latinplane ,when i was kid i use to live in BEY and i remember the logo of Viasa in Beirut international airport
saludos desde Noruega
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:18 pm

http://img461.imageshack.us/img461/6577/mapaderutasviasa4so.jpg

Here's the airline's final route map! Like I said, it was pretty impressive.

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:15 am

I hope that Conviasa will be able to revive the glory of Viasa
Saludos
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
RobertS975
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:24 am

That may have been the final route map, but Viasa served JFK for long years.
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:08 am

Quoting BA747 (Reply 4):
It all had to do with a lot of money

That is way too simplistic an assesment of what happened to VIASA.

There are plenty of other threads on the topic here in the Net. but, very briefly, its demise, in January 1997, had to do with these aspects:

1) Refusal by the Venezuelan Government to acknowledge past debts (mostly having to do with Union and employee pension contributions and fringe benefits awarded when the airline was State run)

2) Appalling administration by IBERIA (itself, then, a State-run outfit with as many or even worse problems, practices and interests as VIASA had so there was no way the two airlines' cultures could ever meet eye to eye)

3) Refusal by SEPI (Iberia's State holding company) to allow for VIASA's losses to be funded

4) VIASA Unions refusal to budge on wage and conditions restructuring plus a reduction in payroll owing to gross overmanning (statistics show at one time the airline had 12 DC-10 First Officers per every DC-10)

The airline was, indeed, privatised in August 1991 not to the best bidder but to the one most convenient to the ruling party of the day and so, instead of choosing KLM (the other serious contender with a slightly less generous offer on the cards), IBERIA was selected after hard lobbying by both, King Juan Carlos of Spain himself (who visited Caracas 2 weeks before bidding day) and Prime Minister Felipe González, old-time personal friend of Venezuela's then President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

It must be stressed that if VIASA turned out to be a world-class airline it is because its founding fathers (from inception in November 1960 as a joint public-private airline till 1984 already fully nationalised) chose KLM, the world's oldest airline, as its guiding light and benefited no end from such a fact. In the 1960s and 70s VIASA's excellence was such in every respect that not only regional KLM Caribbean services (before ALM was set up in 1966) were operated by VIASA but many services even in Asia were flown by combined Dutch/Venezuelan crews.
Thus, KLM would have been the true obvious choice by the 1991 Privatising board but, sadly, political meddling meant the worse decision was taken.

VIASA was in a parlous state in the early 1980s already. It turned a profit every year since it began scheduled flights on April 1 1961 with two aircraft, namely, its own Convair 880-22M (YV-C-VIA) to New York's Idlewild airport and a rented brand new DC-8-53 (PH-DCL, sadly lost on 31 May, 1961 near Lisbon). Despite having been unnecessarily privatised in 1976, and thus become the target of gross mismanagement, it continued to produce operational profits till 1981.
For a whole decade, until its privatisation, VIASA was a loss-maker unable to sustain operations as such any longer.
It was sold out, however, to the least fit contender to take good care of it !
 
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United_fan
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:37 am

I read that some of thier DC-10's were retired to Mobile,AL . Are they still there ?
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cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:04 pm

Quoting Civilav (Reply 11):
There are plenty of other threads on the topic here in the Net. but, very briefly, its demise, in January 1997, had to do with these aspects

Civiav,you are an encyclopedia ,Venezuelen civil aviation should bee proud of you!!!
Saludos
Alex!!!

[Edited 2006-03-06 09:09:50]
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:14 am

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 13):
Civiav,you are an encyclopedia

Alex,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I do love civil aviation and, whilst I lived in Venezuela, I did my best to keep abreast and fully informed of what was going on. I hope my contributions in this forum are balanced, objective and fair. I always seek to reflect the truth as it is or was.

Greetings from Cancún and thank you once more !

Hernán
 
luisde8cd
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 13):

Civiav,you are an encyclopedia ,Venezuelen civil aviation should bee proud of you!!!

Yup, he is. I always seek CivilAv's advice when I have any question regarding Venezuela's Civil Aviation.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:51 am

Some interesting VIASA advertisements from the late 70s/early 80s!

http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/9149/viasa6ux.jpg

  LatinPlane

[Edited 2006-03-06 19:52:32]

[Edited 2006-03-06 20:04:13]
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LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:54 am



 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:03 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 17):
LatinPlane

God this is very nostalgic!!!
Alex!!!
 wave 
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
DouglasDC10
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:03 am

The DC-10s were taken over by Iberia after the airline was dissolved. Two are currently in Greenwood, MS and one in Opa Locka, FL in Iberia colours. One was written off in Buenos Aires in 1995. It was stored there for a long time in derelict conditions, but I don't know if something of the aircraft sill remains there. All other former VIASA DC-10s (with the exception of a former World Airways aircraft which was only leased by VIASA for three months in 1981) were scrapped.
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:34 am



The first Latin American 747! Well, actually, the first "half" Latin American 747! The other side was Dutch. Big grin

 SmileLatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
edgaren
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:54 am

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 13):
Civiav,you are an encyclopedia ,Venezuelen civil aviation should bee proud of you!!!

Yeap he really knows everything about venezuelan aviation, but not only that he also manages to offer well balanced and accurate insides on this matter not taking sides, something which is very hard in the current "environment" we face in Venezuela and you all know what I mean by that!!!!
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:20 am

LatinPlane,

Thank you for posting that picture. I am afraid mine I have in Venezuela and not here with me in Cancún !!
It was taken at Schiphol in February 1972 (services with PH-BUG began in April 1972) and meant for use on the cover of 1970-1971 Shareholders Balance Report which is the document I hold.
It brought fond memories !! Thank you !

Edgaren,

Thank you too for your kind words. I truly appreciate them !
Welcome to the team of A. Netters !!

Regards from Cancún !
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:35 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 17):
Smile LatinPlane

Beautiful pictures, all of you. When nostalgia hits hard I take out my magazines and spend a while reminiscing  crying 

The seven stars were later removed because the Spanish word for star "estrella' sounds too much like the Spanish word for crash 'estrellar'
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:35 pm

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 23):
When nostalgia hits hard I take out my magazines and spend a while reminiscing

Hi Lamedianaraja!
I have a bipolar nostalgia that hits me from time to time,the first is the south America nostalgia represented by AR/VA/RG/Cruzeiro/Ausral lineas aereas ect...and the second one that is much deeper is the BEY nostalgia where i use to live when kid and the golden years of MEA middle east airlnes of Lebanon,the B707 of cedarjet and PAN AM B747 .By the way i remember the logo of Viasa and Varig at the departure hall of BEY international airport
A lot of nostalgia and happiness at the same time.When it hits hard i jump in the first available flight.
Saludos desde Noruega
Alex!!!
 wave 
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
NumberTwelve
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:23 pm

Wow, Latinplane, the 747pic is great - and the remarks about carrier too , so they still mention BOAC.
Was the 747 an ex-SR plane? It has the big black/brown color at the windows.
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lamedianaranja
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:27 pm

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 25):
Was the 747 an ex-SR plane?

He's even telling you:

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 20):
The other side was Dutch

It's dark blue btw.
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
NumberTwelve
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:02 pm

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 26):
He's even telling you:

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 20):
The other side was Dutch

Ok, possibility: ex SR, then Dutch / VIASA.
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cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:49 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 20):
The first Latin American 747! Well, actually, the first "half" Latin American 747! The other side was Dutch.

I didn't know that Viasa flew the B747.Whwre did they flew them?
Saludos
Alex!!!  wave 
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:26 pm

Miami and New York mainly:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Howard Chaloner

I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
kl5147
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:28 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 20):
The first Latin American 747! Well, actually, the first "half" Latin American 747! The other side was Dutch

LatinPlane

Great to see that pic! As a kid I lived near Amsterdam Schiphol airport and I have often seen the PH-BUG in its dual colorscheme. Unfortunately I never saw a colourprint of it.

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 25):
Was the 747 an ex-SR plane? It has the big black/brown color at the windows.

Nope. PH-BUG was the last of 7 B747-206B's (with P&W engines) initial ordered by KLM. cn 20427 (PH-BUF was written off at the Tenerife accident on march 27 1977)
PH-BUG was deliverd in this dual colorscheme on dec 15 1971. I don't know when it was repainted in full KLM colors. Neither if it was the blue top scheme already or still the white is which the first 7 B747's where deliverd.
"The world is just a click away!"
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:59 am

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 29):
Miami and New York mainly:

I am correcting you again....I am afraid !!  smirk 

In previous threads on the topic of Viasa and its 747 operations you may find my comments on how it actually happened. But I am only too happy to refresh memories:

The dual VIASA/KLM 747-200 christened "The Orinoco", began services on April 1, 1972 between Caracas, Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam and continued all through March 1973. The full page paper ads of the day read as follows: "The Orinoco in Maiquetía...". The Orinoco is Venezuela's largest river and is over 400 miles south of Caracas and its airport (Maiquetía). It was a very witty piece of advertising highlighting another milestone in the airline's history by being the very first LatinAmerican airline to operate the 747 fully with its own cabin and cockpit crews.

Viasa and KLM had shared, since the Venezuelan airline's creation, many planes painted in dual liveries. Convair 880-22M YV-C-VIC in particular was painted in such a way (VA port, KL starboard) for almost 3 years and undertook most of KLM's Caribbean jet services as far south as Paramaribo in Surinam.

In the case of PH-BUG, services were as follows as of April 1973: Caracas, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Maracaibo, Panama, Milan and Rome. The plane was returned to KL in late January 1974 pending the arrival of VIASA's first DC-10-30 (PH-DTG) which enabled the airline to introduce widebody services to Miami from Caracas and Maracaibo as well as continue with routes to Europe.

The other 747 services in the early 1980s (basically, 1982 and 1983 only) that La Medianaranja refers to were with specially-rented seasonal services to Miami, Orlando, Houston, Mexico and Toronto as demand warranted. Planes were hired for peak months (mostly July/August & December/January) and then returned to the lessor.

Quoting NumberTwelve (Reply 25):
so they still mention BOAC.

NumberTwelve, the reason the picture talks of BOAC is because it is a 1972 timetable and BOAC was a VIASA pool partner in services to the UK. Between 1970 and 1974 (before Viasa exercised its right under the then bilateral to take up its second frequency) Viasa flew once a week Maracaibo-Caracas-Madrid-London-Amsterdam service with DC-8-63 planes on saturdays and BOAC had twice a week London Heathrow-Antigua-Caracas-Bogota runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays with Super VC-10 aircraft.
As a matter of interest, VIASA had full 5th Freedom rights between all European points so, on its services to London and Amsterdam it carried passengers originating in Spain and v.v.

Hope this helps !
 
USADreamliner
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:57 am

Well, call 1-800- IBERIA, and ask them...  Big grin
Thank God we kick 'em out of AR.


USADreamliner
 
lamedianaranja
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting Civilav (Reply 31):
The other 747 services in the early 1980s (basically, 1982 and 1983 only) that La Medianaranja refers to

No problem! I started living in Venezuela (and flying VA) exactly in '82 so that's how I remember the routes B747 flew. And as these were the only photos in the database...

Thankfully we have you, Civilav!
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:22 am

Quoting Civilav (Reply 22):
It brought fond memories !! Thank you !

No prob, its a beautiful picture! If I go to Cancun next year, I'll have to stop by your travel agency. I'm sure I can spend many hours asking you questions about VIASA; enough to get you tired and want to kick me out! 

Quoting Civilav (Reply 31):
The other 747 services in the early 1980s (basically, 1982 and 1983 only) that La Medianaranja refers to were with specially-rented seasonal services to Miami, Orlando, Houston, Mexico and Toronto as demand warranted. Planes were hired for peak months (mostly July/August & December/January) and then returned to the lessor

They were flying the 747 to all those places??? I understand Miami and Orlando... Have heard stories about the days when it was so affordable for the typical Venezuelan citizen to travel to Miami to do shopping, and how in-style it was for a normal Venezuelan family to travel to Walt Disney World so much that you saw VIASA's DC-10s and Pan Am 747s fly packed full on the Florida runs, but why was Toronto, Houston and Mexico City in such high demand to warrant a 747 flight?

And what about the VIASA flight that used make its way all the way to LAX? That was a surprising story, you once told me!


  LatinPlane

[Edited 2006-03-08 00:43:56]
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:15 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 34):
They were flying the 747 to all those places???

Yes, Miami and Orlando saw regular service.. the other places only special flights. For example, in the summer of 1982, VIASA offered a daily DC-10 Caracas-Maracaibo-Miami plus an evening Caracas-Miami 747 service 4 times a week that would overnihgt at MIA. Orlando would see 747 daytime flights 3 times a week.

Additionally, since the 747 would sit idle on some days, extra runs would be offered to Houston, Mexico City and Toronto if demand warranted it. There are, I believe, a few pictures of Viasa's 747s at some of those airports here in the Net.

Despite the country having had a steep devaluation on Feb. 18th 1983, summer services for that year also included 747 flights to all those destinations but that was the last year Viasa hired a 747.

LatinPlane, ýou will be very warmly welcome here in Cancún !! I promise to sit with you for hours on end as I just love to reminisce about Viasa and Venezuelan civil aviation in general. Keep me posted !!
 
LatinPlane
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:42 pm

http://img463.imageshack.us/img463/2939/rutasviasa18vq.jpg

Here's a revised version of the original map posted above. This map reflects all of the routes and destinations that VIASA flew throughout its history to the best of my knowledge. Most of the flights flown by VIASA were always flown on a combination of city pairs as VIASA was always a very small carrier in terms of fleet numbers. Nonetheless, the map shows the greatness that this carrier represented as the true flag carrier of Venezuela.

Thanks to Jose Valdivia from Venezuela for helping me make this map!

  LatinPlane

[Edited 2006-03-09 09:43:58]
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:15 pm

Wow...BEY is on the map!!!thanks LatinPlane....you deserve my respect+swiss chocolate.
Saludos desde Noruega
Alex!!!  Wink
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:21 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 36):
This map reflects all of the routes

LatinPlane,

I am sorry to say that the map is in no way encompassing all the destinations served by VIASA at one time or another. Let me,for the sake of accuracy, enumerate all the other destinations left out.

Points addtionally served by VIASA in the 60s, 70s and 80s are as follows:

1961: Santa Maria (Azores)
1962-1968: New Orleans, Montego Bay (from Maracaibo), Curacao
1966-68: Barranquilla (through PAISA subsidiary /Panameña de Aviación)
1968: Barbados, Port of Spain
1969: Barquisimeto (BRM-MAR-MIA)
1972: Washington (first SouthAmerican airline to do so), plus 5th freedom traffic rights San Juan-Madrid and Santo Domingo-New York
1974-77: Cali
1979: Las Palmas
1982: Barcelona, Antigua, Fort de France, Pointe-a-Pitre, Grenada.
1983: Guayaquil

Equally, and just for the summer of 1993, Puerto Ordaz-Barcelona-Miami.

That would do justice to VIASA's real network through the decades !

Greetings from Cancun.
 
edgaren
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting Civilav (Reply 38):
1962-1968: New Orleans, Montego Bay (from Maracaibo), Curacao

Why was there a flight between Maracaibo and Montego Bay, civilav?..Did it have anything to do with oil companies?...didn't know of that one and I'm clueless about the reason for that flight...Thanks in advance......EDGAR.
 
civilav
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:24 am

Quoting EDGAREN (Reply 39):
Why was there a flight between Maracaibo and Montego Bay, civilav?..

Thank you for your question. I shall try to be brief in the explanation.
When VIASA was formed, it gathered the traffic rights held by both, LAV and Avensa (as you probably know Edgaren, VIASA was jointly held by Avensa: 49% shares & LAV: 51%).
The then bilateral between the US and Venezuela allowed for frequencies to both, New Orleans and Houston but separately, that is, one Venezuelan airline could serve Houston or New Orleans but not both and vice versa for US carriers. Avensa was the designated airline on the Venezuelan side and its traffic rights (including 5th freedom) were for the Caracas-Maracaibo-Montego Bay-New Orleans run. Delta Airlines offered Houston-Montego Bay-Caracas services.

Services to Texas and Louisiana were a bit of cat and mouse game.
When VIASA traded in its last Convair 880-22M in November 1968 and began DC-9-15 operations with Avensa planes, both, New Orleans and Montego were dropped. This enabled Delta to plead with the Civil Aeronautics Board (extinct since Deregulation in the US in 1978) for authority to serve both, Houston and New Orleans to Caracas and to drop Montego altogether. Interestingly, with the new bilateral signed in 1970 but which entered into being in January 1972, Delta was given the go-ahead to include Maracaibo in its services to Houston. DC-8-61 planes were used for this.
Then Delta, abruptly, cancelled all flights to Venezuela in 1977 and this led Viasa so ask for authority to serve Houston (no N. Orleans this time) from both Maracaibo and Caracas as of 1978.

As to your question of whether this was related to the oil business.. originally yes as Delta and Avensa used piston aircraft which were only large enough to accommodate the very large demand between both destinations and Venezuela. Then, in the heydays of the oil boom in the late 70s and early 80s, Houston was a very famous destination for those seeking medical treatment, shopping and a visit to Nasa's Astrodome.
The business traffic would still be oil related, but the tourist class one would not.

In 1979, since the 1970 bilateral allowed reciprocity, the Houston to Caracas route was awarded on the US side to Braniff, which, when it went bankrupt in 1982, got transferred to Continental. That sitll stands till the present day.

Greetings from Cancun !
 
edgaren
Posts: 81
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:13 am

wowwww very well detailed explanation, thanks for the info...EDGAR.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:39 am

Thanks civilav for this amazing report but do you think that a new airline of Venezuela can use the name and logo of Viasa once more like PAN AM for example
Saludos Venezuela
Alex!!!
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
LatinPlane
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:15 pm

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 42):
Thanks civilav for this amazing report but do you think that a new airline of Venezuela can use the name and logo of Viasa once more like PAN AM for example
Saludos Venezuela

According to what Civilav, once said, no! Because, VIASA, under its legal name, left a few outstanding debts, which implies that a new company with VIASA's name might run into legal trouble from companies still trying to recuperate money owed to them. A very important group that is still fighting it out, are the ex-employees of the airline, as mentioned in another thread, which still have a pending and unresolved situation with backpay/benefits .

 Smile LatinPlane

P.S. By the way, is anyone interested in seeing what VIASA's headquarters looks like today?
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cedars747
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:47 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 43):

According to what Civilav, once said, no! Because, VIASA, under its legal name, left a few outstanding debts, which implies that a new company with VIASA's name might run into legal trouble from companies still trying to recuperate money owed to them

Thanks for your clarification!
Saludos desde Noruega
Alex!!!
 wave 
Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !Jeg har en lidenskap for luftfart!j'ai
 
lamedianaranja
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:21 am

RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:00 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 43):
what VIASA's headquarters looks like today?

Which ones do you mean? La torre Viasa or Parque Caiza or at Maiquetía? And do you have pictures or are you giving a ghost tour  Wink?
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
civilav
Posts: 293
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RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:52 am

LatinPlane,

The answer is 100% correct. VIASA left many debts unpaid all over (in fact, one of the reasons, among other more significant ones, Aserca could never start services to Brasil when awarded the rights in 1998 was because creditors in that country - including airport handlers and the Brazilian airports authority because of unpaid landing fees - threatened to sue any Venezuelan airline that took up VIASA's flights).
The Judge that presided over bankruptcy proceedings was rather slow and inefficient in disposing of assets to pay off debts. One wonders why.

Of course, the most important of them was the debt the Venezuelan government itself had with the Unions over pension / retirement and severance pay contributions. The accummulated debt spans from 1983 - 1991 in which not a penny was put aside for this. That has been the major reason ex-VIASA workers have not got any redundancy payments to this day and why VIASA was BANKRUPT, totally so, in August 1991 when "privatised". I put that word in inverted commas because calling it privatisation is a joke. A State airline that is handed over to the State airline of another country cannot under any stretch of the imagination be termed "privatisation". It was just a straight hand-over and with an air of "good riddance" too !
No government ever dared face the Unions and nurse the airline back into good health. It was easier, in typical Venezuelan fashion, to pass the buck on to someone else and wash their hands off.

I many times compare VIASA to Lan Chile and wonder how come an airline that had everything going for it, in a strategically located and very rich country, could fail so miserably and had to seek foreign ownership when LAN, from a country in the remotest part of South America and not particularly as wealthy as Venezuela is such a shining example to Latin Americans in general and is wholly Chilean owned ?? I am lost for words to account for that fact.

VIASA was unnecessarily nationalised in 1976 when the then Carlos Andres Perez government (1974-79), in a surge of nationalist sentiment and awash with petrodollars much like the Venezuelan government today, undertook to nationalise just about everything, from iron and steel to oil and aviation.
The happy-go-lucky feel of Venezuelan bureaucracy then crept into the airline's labour ethic and it became a sad haven of gross mismanagement, nepotism, opportunism and open graft. Real profits ceased in 1979 (the DC-10 crisis of that year grounding fleets worlwide for up to 3 weeks played havoc on the airline as it came in the midst of the summer rush and led to its first ever recorded loss).
As of 1981 however and for a whole decade, VIASA never turned a profit, not even after generous export-award subsidies were discounted. In the meantime, wage bargaining and Union contracts irresponsibly signed by successive administrations bled the airline even more as it was impossible to fulfil such obligations given its labour structure and debts. The bubble eventually burst as we all know.

Greetings from Cancún !
 
LatinPlane
Posts: 2471
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 am

Quoting Lamedianaranja (Reply 45):
Which ones do you mean? La torre Viasa or Parque Caiza or at Maiquetía? And do you have pictures or are you giving a ghost tour

I was talking about La Torre VIASA in downtown of course.

http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/8073/img00155my.jpg

The picture was taken a few days ago by Jose Valdivia, a chemical engineer and an aviation enthusiast in Venezuela.

Here she stands, alone and forgotten. Once a sign beaming with activity, the colors of the VIASA sign are now fading away.

The building has stood abandoned since the airline shut down. It was even invaded at one time by a group of poor people who do not have adequate housing in Caracas. The signs stands as a testament to a company that in all essence was once, the great representative of Venezuela in distant lands.


LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
lamedianaranja
Posts: 1195
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:21 am

RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:53 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 47):
The picture was taken a few days ago

The VIASA sign but also the car do suggest otherwise  Wink Venezuela starts to look like Cuba more and more...

Whenever I'm in Caracas and on the highway going past this building I just look the other way. It's just too painful to see the sign still up and to know there's nothing but ruins left.
I wish that all skies were orange and blue!!
 
LatinPlane
Posts: 2471
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: What Happened To Viasa?

Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:35 pm

Quoting Civilav (Reply 46):
I many times compare VIASA to Lan Chile and wonder how come an airline that had everything going for it, in a strategically located and very rich country, could fail so miserably and had to seek foreign ownership when LAN, from a country in the remotest part of South America and not particularly as wealthy as Venezuela is such a shining example to Latin Americans in general and is wholly Chilean owned ?? I am lost for words to account for that fact.

Corruption, greed, carelessness, ineptitude, over-ambition, splurging... we can find more words, but I think we get it.

I think the story of VIASA goes hand-in-hand with the story of Venezuela. A country that in 1977 had one of the lowest poverty rates in Latin America, with only 25% of its population considered poor, and for which today the number has reached an astonishing 83%, per the latest LatinTrade magazine I read.

You know, if a very wealthy family in the Middle-East ever paid attention to Venezuelan situation, they would get a hint of what lies in store for them, I'd say twenty-years down the line. As a matter of fact, this also goes for my President in charge of the my country's flag.

Here's a close up of the building. As you can see, the building must be in a very bad state of disrepair as you can note there's quite a few window glasses missing. Who took them?

http://img158.imageshack.us/img158/3932/img00166pd.jpg
Photo by: Jose Valdivia


LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.

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