LatinPlane
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Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:34 pm

Whenever I encounter old Varig memorabilia, I can't help but be enthralled with Varig's proud past. Here is the evidence that proves that Varig was once the greatest Latin American airline that ever was...



Old Commercial made for the Japanese-Brazilian community



Old Commercial made for the Portuguese-Brazilian community



Old Commercial promoting Rio de Janeiro



Varig 60th Anniversary



Varig's Catering Services



Varig 70th Anniversary



Varig's 777



Varig 78th Anniversary, by now the airline was in really bad trouble

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h190/ADiaz747/VarigIntMap1993.jpg

Varig's Route Map at its height, circa 1993



Varig, Orgulho de ser Brasileira

Varigee... Varigee... Varigee!

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
WesternA318
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:41 pm

Hey speaking of their beautiful planes...heres the best one of all!

Big version: Width: 640 Height: 439 File size: 99kb
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
C010T3
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 2:03 pm

That's a really great thread, Latinplane! Thank you for the initiative.

That all shows what hyperinflation, recession, sudden market liberalization, price freeze, a mistaken dual-hub strategy and a NPO in command can do to an airline.
 
HALFA
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:04 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Thread starter):
Whenever I encounter old Varig memorabilia, I can't help but be enthralled with Varig's proud past.

Me too! One of my all time favorite airlines! I have kept all of my VARIG memorabilia, from first class amenity kits given to me by their kind flight attendants, to inflight magazines and a hat that I bought on board from the duty free cart. We can only hope that they can reestablish their proud traditions of flying from Brazil all over the world again someday.
I have great memories of my travels with them.
Thanks Latinplane for sharing the videos.

Aloha,
HALFA
HA J Class Lie flats, coming soon to a plane near you........
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:10 pm

As a matter of interest, which tri-jet did RG fly to JNB? I remember years ago waiting to board a flight, and seeing a Varig tri-jet being fueled at JNB ... I remember a lot of fuel spilled onto the apron, and then the engines obstinately resisted starting ...

My memory tells me it was a 727, but I don't think that's correct.

Bren
 
AF022
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:20 pm

Quoting C010T3 (Reply 2):
That all shows what hyperinflation, recession, sudden market liberalization, price freeze, a mistaken dual-hub strategy and a NPO in command can do to an airline.

I think incompetent management trumps all the above.
 
PDPsol
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:38 pm

Quoting AF022 (Reply 5):
I think incompetent management trumps all the above.

Oh, yes. Completely incompetent management and, even worse, dreadful corporate governance!

RG's Board of Directors was controlled by its primary shareholder, the FRB; a fund backing the pensions of RG's own employees. The FRB was a DISASTROUS shareholder for RG and is responsible for its horrible performance.

G3's public parent, Gol, has a competent Board of Directors and will, hopefully, be an effective shareholder of RG. Gol's equity is traded on the NYSE, as well as the BOVESPA, and its management is highly-competent. Gol's Board of Directors has one primary objective: enhancing the value of its operations, G3 and RG, and delivering maximum value to its myriad shareholders.
 
stylo777
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 4:32 am

in my eyes Varig has the most beautiful livery on the 777 as well as the MD11 - unfortunately had...  Sad
 
LawnDart
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:18 am

Quoting Brenintw (Reply 4):
As a matter of interest, which tri-jet did RG fly to JNB?

Just guessing, it would be the DC-10...GRU to JNB is 4,600 miles, the 727 could only do just over 2,000.
 
Fyano773
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:19 am

Interesting Hommage à Varig, LatinPlane. After reading the topic I recalled a PR from Boeing; It's amazing how things change:

Quote:

Varig Becomes First In Latin America To Order Boeing 777
FARNBOROUGH, England, Sept. 08, 1998 -- VARIG, the largest airline in Latin America, announced an agreement to purchase 39 Boeing jetliners, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group confirmed today.

Demonstrating a bold vision for the future, VARIG becomes the first carrier in Latin America to order the 777. VARIG has ordered four 777s, 10 Next-Generation 737-800s, four 737-700s and six extended-range 767-300ERs. In addition, VARIG will place options for four 777-200s and 11 737-700s. The approximate value of the order, including options, is $2.7 billion.

"We worked very hard with Boeing to re-evaluate our fleet needs in order to better serve our flying customers," said VARIG president and chief executive officer Fernando Pinto. "We have been operating Boeing aircraft for many years, and we look forward to continuing our partnership into the future. The opportunity to acquire the Boeing 777 and the Next-Generation 737 will reinforce our position as a market leader into the next century."

"We're delighted that VARIG is the first airline in Latin America to order the 777," said Harry Stonecipher, president, chief operating officer and acting chief financial officer - The Boeing Company. "VARIG's vision demonstrates its commitment to long-term profitable growth. We're confident these airplanes will meet VARIG's needs well into the next century."

VARIG and its subsidiaries, Rio Sul and Nordeste, currently operate more than 100 Boeing jetliners.

By fortune, the company is back, fleet and destinations are growing again.

Fyano
 
FlagshipAZ
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 5:26 am

Here's a bit of interesting trivia regarding Varig. They were the ONLY airline in the world ever to operated the B-707, the CV-990 and the DC-8 at the same time. Great fleet history behind Varig there.
Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
 
AM744
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:24 am

I remember seeing their DC-10s landing at MEX a few years ago. I've always been keen to that great airline.
 
SAOAP
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:55 am

A lot of people, myself included, have high hopes that Varig will once again take its place among Latin America's finest.

Time will tell what will happen.

Cheers,

Marcelo
"When it's dark enough, you can see the stars" - Charles A. Beard
 
avianca707359b
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:59 am

Quoting Latinplane (Thread starter):
I can't help but be enthralled with Varig's proud past

Thanks for that look back!

I'll always treasure my flights on their B747-200 JFK-GIG, B707-320 BSB-GIG, and even an Electra on the Santos Dumont-Congonhas "Shuttle" - not to mention the sexy female voice announcing the flights at GIG.

Wherever my travels took me - BOG, NRT, LHR, LAX, AMS - seeing the Blue & White Varig cheatline always made me think - WOW it must be great to fly RG all the way to Brazil!

Obrigado...

[Edited 2007-09-07 00:01:29]
In Memory of HK-1402 "Sucre" & HK-1410 "Bolivar"
 
comorin
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airli

Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:15 am

I flew Varig JFK-GIG and also did the fabulous shuttle to Rio many years ago.

The F experience in VARIG (JFK-GRU) was the best F experience I have ever had. The stylish presentation of a long multi-course dinner , the romance of flying over the Amazon at night was just wonderful. You got up refreshed and ready to go on landing at GRU. Very classy indeed.

Then the flight on the old but beautifully refurbished Lockheed Electra shuttle to Rio was another experience that evoked the gracious days of flying. The landing at Rio was breathtaking as the evening lights twinkled...

VARIG was such a fitting airline for such a wonderful country and people.

[Edited 2007-09-07 03:16:17]
 
CV990
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 6:10 pm

Hi!

Maybe one of the sadest moments in LIS was when VARIG stopped flying there after many, many years. It started first with PANAIR back to the 40's when they used the L049's. After that they would stay until the DC-7C and VARIG continued the flights. Like FlagshipAZ said VARIG was the only airline to fly at the same time the CV990 ( from an early order of REAL - PP-VJE, VJF and VJG ), the DC-8 ( from the previous operator PANAIR ) and of course their own 707's, early 441 "diesel" ones and latter the 300C versions.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © Mel Lawrence
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Helio Bastos Salmon



Unfortunately the only photos available of VARIG CV990's are from the latter users, like Alaska Airlines, this one was ex: PP-VJE. Also the sole VARIG DC-8 photo, you can see by the registration that it was an ex: PANAIR one.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Mel Lawrence



I always loved to see those turbojets 707's, and the 400 series had a very neat nacelle design for the RRoyce engines, here we have PP-VJA and a very rare photo of PP-VJB that crashed really soon on VARIG service.
Besides those, VARIG operated 17 707's 300C but the interesting fact is that from those 707's only 3 of them were ordered direct from Boeing ( PP-VJR, VJS and VJT ). The rest of them came from various sources, but the big supplier was CO who sold 5 707-324C's to VARIG ( PP-VLK, VLL, VLM, VLN and VLO ). Other sources were; AA ( PP-VLP, VLU and VLI ), SW ( PP-VJX, VJY and VJZ...these airplanes were built to SW but were not-taken-up and went right away to VARIG...), Saturn also didn' t take one 707 and went also to VARIG ( PP-VJK ), BN sold one ( PP-VLJ ) and finally Boeing sold also one ( PP-VJH ) and I had the chance to fly that beauty in September 1980 from LIS to AMS.
VARIG lost 6 707's during their operation ( PP-VJB, VJK, VJR, VJT, VLJ and VLU ).


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Eduard Marmet



Above you can see one of the only original 707-341C's and PP-VJH, the one I flew!!!
Regards
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!
 
incitatus
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:26 pm

Those commercials are great, especially the third one about Rio. Those were indeed the very best times!

Quoting CV990 (Reply 15):
Unfortunately the only photos available of VARIG CV990's are from the latter users,

However, the web is vast. There are Varig CV-990 postcards available on Ebay. Check it out.
Stop pop up ads
 
VC10er
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:39 pm

thank you so much for this amazing treat.

i read the threads and the news every day last year holding my breath that varig wouldnt be liquidated. had it gone i would have cried.
it was my favorite airline. i flew in biz on the ruben berta 777 within it's first month in the air. it was beautiful. felt like varig was moving into the next phase of its future.

again thanks. i forwarded it to all my friends in brazil.
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
LatinPlane
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sat Sep 08, 2007 4:08 pm

On the contrary, I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to watch these videos. I'm sure it put a smile on some of your faces!




Cheers to the new Varig and its bright future.

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
cmtehori
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:53 pm

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sat Sep 08, 2007 5:22 pm

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 18):
I'm sure it put a smile on some of your faces!

Well, you bet you did more than that, you made me shed a couple tears from my eyes. Honestly, I thought at least some 3 times before posting, but waht the hell, it´s Varig, the one I´ve seen intercepting the localizer right above my head for 17R in CGH for the last 24 years. I remember once when I was a kid an Electra flying on 3 engines... Not only it landed safely, but it´s safety record has remained extraordinary over the years. I never worked for them, but just by being brazilian, I´m so proud of that beutiful star flying all around for nearly 80 years!

Way to go VARIG!!

Best,

Carlos
727-200, 737-300/700/800, 757-200, 767-200/300/400, A310, A319, A320, A330, MD-88, MD-11, DC-8-73F, F100, ERJ145, CRJ200
 
VC10er
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:21 am

The real name for this post is "one of the greatest airlines in the world" not just latam.
All we can do is fly them when possible and write letters to star alliance to let them back in. Such a legacy carrier deserves that!
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
LipeGIG
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:49 am

It's really a shame that an airline like Varig, with the ability to charge even more than another airline because of their reputation, has gone...

And i agree, the best-ever looking 777 was PP-VRA/VRB special livery.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
cmtehori
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:53 pm

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:47 pm

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 21):
And i agree, the best-ever looking 777 was PP-VRA/VRB special livery

Hi Lipe! Just a bit off-topic, VRA and VRB were the only 777´s delivered to RG directly from Boeing right? The other ones were all second-hand, am I right?

Regards

Carlos
727-200, 737-300/700/800, 757-200, 767-200/300/400, A310, A319, A320, A330, MD-88, MD-11, DC-8-73F, F100, ERJ145, CRJ200
 
C010T3
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:55 pm

Quoting Cmtehori (Reply 22):
Hi Lipe! Just a bit off-topic, VRA and VRB were the only 777´s delivered to RG directly from Boeing right? The other ones were all second-hand, am I right?

Regards

Carlos

Exactly.
 
LPSHobby
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 9:14 pm

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:37 pm

Quoting FlagshipAZ (Reply 10):
Here's a bit of interesting trivia regarding Varig. They were the ONLY airline in the world ever to operated the B-707, the CV-990 and the DC-8 at the same time. Great fleet history behind Varig there.
Regards.

You said at the same time, Air France operated 707, CV-900 and DC-8, but I don´t know the dates, so I don´t know if AF operated the 3 types at the same time.

[Edited 2007-09-10 17:02:15]

[Edited 2007-09-10 17:03:39]
 
LPSHobby
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 9:14 pm

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:42 pm

Quoting Incitatus (Reply 16):
Those commercials are great, especially the third one about Rio. Those were indeed the very best times!

Quoting CV990 (Reply 15):
Unfortunately the only photos available of VARIG CV990's are from the latter users,

However, the web is vast. There are Varig CV-990 postcards available on Ebay. Check it out

In Flap Internacional magazine there are lots of RG´s CV-990 too!!!!
 
LatinPlane
Posts: 2471
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:38 am

By the way, the first commercial is very interesting. Can somebody give us Varig's history serving Japan.

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
BOAC911
Posts: 280
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:55 am

I distinctly remember a huge VARIG billboard in Lisbon which portrayed the company's slogan, VARIG: The most elegant to fly.

On inter-continental flights, VARIG served you a glass of champagne as a pre-take-off drink in all classes.
I remember a relatively short flight from GRU to CWB (one hour) at 8:00 am, which served a full breakfast on a good-size tray, with plenty of food. Even on the short air bridge route, VARIG served a small snack back then. I hear that the new VARIG is still doing this.
 
C010T3
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:48 am

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:04 am

Quoting BOAC911 (Reply 27):
Even on the short air bridge route, VARIG served a small snack back then. I hear that the new VARIG is still doing this.

Check it out: http://www.varig.com.br/pops/servico_de_bordo/acao_os2961.html
 
FMAL
Posts: 469
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:16 am

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:22 am

Quoting Pdpsol (Reply 6):
RG's Board of Directors was controlled by its primary shareholder, the FRB; a fund backing the pensions of RG's own employees. The FRB was a DISASTROUS shareholder for RG and is responsible for its horrible performance.

This business model worked for a while. It made Varig into the proud airline we are commenting here today.

Their fault, in my view, was the inability to adapt to a new enviroment, one of greater competition and the new characteristics of the airline business from the mid 90's onwards.

For us Brazilians in our 30's and 40's, we will forever remember Varig as a reference of airline travel. For a while, Varig was synonimous with pleasant flight and service, and to work for Varig was a symbol of status and pride.

Sadly, things change and so has the airline industry. Long gone are the glamour, the charm, the special feeling you had when you were about to fly. That glamour from the 50's that lasted, I think, until the early 90's are forever gone, I'm affraid. But I'll be happy to say that I witness a period when flying was something really special, and people approached it that way. For us Brazilians, that's the heritage Varig left us.

I am the first to wish
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:59 am

Varig still has the option of re-joining star alliance, it's membership wasnt terminated, just suspended.

South America is a bit of an airline alliance desert... only LAN Chile seems to be a fully fledged member of one of the "big 3 alliances".. who else ?
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
C010T3
Posts: 1616
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:48 am

RE: Varig - Once The Greatest Latin American Airline

Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:17 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 30):
Varig still has the option of re-joining star alliance, it's membership wasnt terminated, just suspended.

That's written in Wikipedia, but no official source has ever said anything about that. Or did I miss something? The thing is that VARIG is migrating its reservations to Sabre and I think all Star members use Amadeus.

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