Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

Aserca To Buy Santa Barbara Airlines?

Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:10 am

There is a rumor around some time now that Aserca Airlines (R7) might take over Santa Barbara Airlines (S3) !
This is no joke, April 1st is over !

I have heard about this some time ago already. But as Venezuelan aviation is full of strange rumors that never ever materialize, I didn't want to pay attention. But it looks like this rumor is getting stronger every day, so I decided to post it.

Aserca is currently the largest domestic airline, operating 16 DC9-30 (

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Photo © Iván D. Peña Nesbit. México Air Spotters
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Santa Barbara Airlines is the only longhaul airline in Venezuela, operating 2x767, 2x757 and some ATR42.

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Aserca has been doing a great job improving their services day by day. They are now introducing check-in terminals as first airline in the country.

Buying Santa Barbara would make them the largest and most important airline in the country.

What do you thing ? Would this make sense for Aserca ? What are the advantages/disadvantages if this happens ?
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:51 am

RE: Aserca To Buy Santa Barbara Airlines?

Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:48 pm


ASERCA has been on the brink of closing down many times in the past... Simeón García and his sister (they both manage the airline) may be a bit different from Nelson Ramiz in terms of temperament and decision-making, but they still behave very much like a family in charge of an airline.

Santa Barbara, by contrast, is part of a conglomerate and have a Corporate Holding company spanning several economic activities as diverse as car brakes and components to hotels in the Canary Islands and several other new investments in Florida. Their running the airline has been professional and were up to the challenge when Avensa was grounded and operations handed over to S3 literally in the course of two months in 2002. They had never flown internationally till then and, yet, proved reliable and efficient.

Their fleet is relatively "young" when compared to ASERCA's which takes pride in being like final resting ground for every 30+ year old DC-9 frame there is around ! ASERCA made a real hash of its takeover of Air Aruba in the 90s and badly messed up with its code-sharing flights to Brazil with Varig. In fact, they were never able to start the routes awarded to them in 1998 after former VIASA flying rights were handed out to Avensa, Aeropostal and Aserca. Santa Barbara was not even in the picture in those days.

I would be very much surprised if this comment of yours is true and, if it came to be real, then it would signal that the González-Yanes family has had enough of Chávez and are pulling out of the country altogether !

Greetings from Cancun !
Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: Aserca To Buy Santa Barbara Airlines?

Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:15 pm

Thank you for putting all those facts together !

You are certainly right with your evaluation of the background of both airlines. But on the other hand this could exactly be the reason why it happens.

Just see Aserca as the family owned airline that is doing quite well at the moment, maybe having luckily hired a professional management.

And then see a successful holding with many branches. But there is only one of them - the Airline(s) - producing losses that day by day need to be covered. In addition the political surrounding makes it difficult to run it and it needs much more dedication and manpower than all other branches together. They are simply fed-up with the airline !
After a business-wise (not emotional) evaluation it might be a correct decision.

It might not be the best decision to sell it to Aserca (we all remember what happened with Air Aruba), but if this is the only option.....

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