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Conviasa


Conviasa


Línea Aérea Conviasa (legally Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos) is a Venezuelan airline with its headquarters on the grounds of Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, Venezuela, near Caracas. It is the flag carrier and largest airline of Venezuela, operating services to domestic destinations and destinations in the Caribbean and South America. Conviasa is known to make routes from a political perspective rather than a financial standpoint.

History

In January 1997, Venezuela's former flag carrier, Viasa, ceased operations after 37 years of service due to prolonged financial problems. In May 2001, the idea to create a new flag carrier for Venezuela was proposed, but in December 2002, the project was put on hold until October 1, 2003. On March 31, 2004, then President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, signed a decree that formally established the airline. This decree was published in the nation's official gazette the next day.

On November 28, 2004, Conviasa's inaugural flight was made with a De Havilland Canada Dash 7 flying from the airport in Charallave to the Santiago Mariño International Airport, on Margarita Island. On December 10, 2004, Conviasa formally began its national and international operations. Conviasa was originally run by the now defunct Ministry of Production and Commerce, but it has since been taken over by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

In March 2007, Iran Air began a route from Caracas to Tehran via Damascus under a codeshare agreement with Conviasa. Conviasa took it over seven months later. The flight was usually less than half-full and primarily carried Syrian Venezuelans, Iranian businesspeople and Venezuelan officials. One of the company's executives stated that the service mainly existed for political reasons; Venezuela had warm relations with Iran and Syria. Some people raised concerns about the route. In 2008, the Italian newspaper La Stampa said Iran was using the flight to transport missile parts to Syria, enabling it to evade United Nations sanctions. President Chávez described the report as American propaganda. Additionally, the United States, which deemed Iran and Syria state sponsors of terrorism, suspected the immigration and customs checks that passengers underwent were lax. The Venezuelan government responded that Conviasa was running an ordinary commercial flight and that travelers were subject to standard controls. As of 2010, it was uncertain whether the carrier still flew to Tehran.

Following the crash of Flight 2350 on September 17, 2010, the government of Venezuela grounded all Conviasa flights so that it could perform a technical review of the airline's fleet. The airline said that the temporary suspension would remain in effect until October 1, 2010. Flights were then re-instated.

On April 3, 2012, Conviasa was banned from flying to countries in the European Union because of safety concerns. It said that Conviasa failed to show it had taken adequate steps to prevent future accidents. In August 2012, the carrier ended its nonstop service to Damascus. The European Union lifted its restriction on Conviasa on July 10, 2013.

In September 2012, Conviasa took delivery of their first Embraer 190. Twenty aircraft were ordered, but only received 15, and one Embraer Lineage 1000.

Conviasa is under the authority of the Ministry of Aquatic and Air Transport. The airline is owned by the Venezuelan government (80%) and the regional government of Nueva Esparta (20%). Conviasa has its headquarters on the grounds of Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, Venezuela, near Caracas. Originally Conviasa had its headquarters on Margarita Island. At one time Conviasa had its headquarters in the East Tower of Parque Central in Caracas.

In August 2016, it was reported that over 80 percent of Conviasa pilots quit their jobs due to low and outstanding payments and the airline had to reduce operations down to around 16 flights per day subsequently. Additionally, several of the company's aircraft have been stored unused for several months.

On May 5, 2017, Conviasa was forced to suspend all international operations due to a lack of foreign currency to pay for international aircraft insurance. Also in May 2017, Wamos Air terminated its contract with Conviasa on short notice. Wamos Air operated a single Boeing 747-400 for Conviasa between Caracas and Madrid. In autumn 2019, Conviasa started again many early terminated international routes back for its network.

On February 7, 2020, the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") added Conviasa and its fleet of 40 aircraft to the Specially Designated Nationals list. In practice, this makes it extremely unlikely that Conviasa will be able to source replacement parts for its fleet of airworthy and grounded B737 aircraft. Additionally, US Nationals are prohibited from flying on Conviasa's domestic and international flights. Finally, to the extent that other countries abide by OFAC policy, those countries (Brazil, France, UK) will refuse to sell Conviasa replacement parts for Embraer and Airbus aircraft, prohibit its nationals from flying Conviasa, and will cancel Conviasa-serviced routes to their respective countries (Panama, Mexico, Bolivia, and Ecuador).

In July 2020, Conviasa bought a 23-year old Airbus A340-300 to supplement its single A340-200, as well as to reinforce air cargo and long radius. In March and June 2022, Conviasa received two 20-year old Airbus A340-600s as part of the company's fleet expansion, also announcing that it will receive an A340-500 in the following months. This means Conviasa will be the only commercial operator that operates all models of the Airbus A340.

Destinations

As of January 2024, Conviasa serves the following scheduled destinations:

Codeshare agreements

Conviasa has codeshares agreements with the following airlines:

  • Iraqi Airways (planned)
  • Syrian Air

Fleet

Current

As of February 2024, the Conviasa fleet includes the following aircraft:

Former

Conviasa had in the past operated the following aircraft:

Accidents and incidents

  • On December 16, 2005, Conviasa Flight 2600, a De Havilland Canada Dash 7 (registered YV-1003) with 36 passengers and 4 crew members on board, was forced to make a belly landing at Porlamar's airport when the landing gear failed to deploy. After circling Porlamar for an hour and a half to burn off fuel, the aircraft touched down without any injuries.
  • On August 30, 2008, a Boeing 737-200 (registered YV102T), took off from Caracas, and was bound to Latacunga, Ecuador, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Quito. Three crew members (a captain, a first officer, and a mechanic) were on board. The aircraft crashed in the mountainous area in Ecuador's Andes, killing all three crew on board.
  • On September 13, 2010, Conviasa Flight 2350, an ATR 42-300 (registered YV1010) with 47 passengers and 4 crew on board, crashed shortly before landing. It was a domestic scheduled passenger flight from Porlamar, Isla Margarita to Ciudad Guayana. There were 34 survivors and 17 fatalities.
  • On August 13, 2012, Conviasa Flight 2197, an ATR 72-200 (registered YV2421), made a high-speed aborted takeoff resulting in a runway excursion close to a ravine. All 67 occupants on board sustained minor injuries, while the aircraft sustained minor damage.

See also

  • List of airlines of Venezuela
Collection James Bond 007

References

External links

Media related to Conviasa at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website Archived October 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  • (in Spanish) Part one of the decree that created Conviasa
  • (in Spanish) Part two of the decree that created Conviasa

Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Conviasa by Wikipedia (Historical)