1 Since SAM got absorbed by la Alianza Summa it doesn't exist anymore right? Any chance they'll bring back that division now that the alliance doesnt exist anymore? (those MD80s looked so good in SAM colors btw)
A bit of history on SAM:
1947. After WWII was over, some Pilots who had a role there had the chance to buy a DC-3, the best plane of the time, for 5000 US Dollars. Then Luis H Coulson "The grandfather" (The same founder of Tampa Cargo and Aces) convinced them to sell him that right and gave them a contract for working in Colombia for a year. That's how SAM began, with a Cargo DC-3.
Later they became a passenger service Airline and became one of the biggest in Colombia, having in their fleet 727s, 707s, twin otters and having a fierce competition with Avianca, they even had international service.
They began to have financial trouble and in the early 90s, after a 727 crash (flying PTY
) they almost went bankrupt. Then Avianca acquired them and let them have their own image and fleet, although operationally they were one. SAM changed their fleet of 727s for AVROs in the mid 90s, but the engines of that airplane proved not suitable for Colombian operations and they had lots of trouble with, so after some years they decided to give those AVROs back to their lessor, now they fly with Malmö Aviation in Sweden.
Without AVROs, Avianca "gave" them some of its planes, two MD
-83s and some Fokker 50s (don't remember if 4 , 5 or 6...) and their operations kept as usual. As you know not always the same airplanes are scheduled for the same routes, so it was not weird to see SAM planes operating an Avianca flight and viceversa, because as I said, although the image was independent, operationally SAM and Avianca were the same.
When the Alianza Summa was formed, in theory their members were Avianca, Aces and SAM, but SAM was long time part of Avianca, so the Alianza Summa was just Avianca and Aces (Avianca only nowadays for obvious reasons).
Nowadays SAM operates the same way they used to, with their own image and planes (yeah... Avianca's but "given" to them) but as a whole part of Avianca's system, and almost fully owned by them. As in the old times, SAM planes often operate Avianca's routes and viceversa. In fact, there was a time when they were called "sistema Avianca-SAM".
SAM operates mainly secondary routes, and lots of routes to the Colombian coast, CTG, BAQ, SMR...
With the Avianca's given planes, two MD-83s and some Fokker 50s (again I don't know if 4, 5 or 6). You can even search for SAM's planes' regs and eventually you'll get to pics when they were in original Avianca's colors.
As a side note, SAM is also at C-11 with Avianca and it's iliquid by now, if they aren't able to make it have profits, Avianca might contemplate finishing SAM. I read this last part in the Avianca's C-11 communicate, downlodadable from www.avianca.com.co
That's what I know so far, if any of you have anything to add or any corrections just post by.
[Edited 2004-09-18 04:12:04]
[Edited 2004-09-18 04:14:03]