Conviasa (Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos) is a state-owned airline based in Caracas, Venezuela. It operates services to domestic destinations and to destinations in the Caribbean and South America. It plans to add destinations in Europe to its network. Its main base is Simón Bolívar International Airport, Caracas.
In January 1997, Venezuela's flag carrier
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 30, 2004, the 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 aircraft 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 extinct Ministry of Production and Commerce (Ministerio de la Producción y el Comercio), but it has since been taken over by the Ministry of Infrastructure.
On April 17, 2006, Jose David Cabello Rondon replaced Wilmer Castro Sotelo as head of Conviasa. On June 30, 2006, Jose David Cabello Rondon replaced Ramon Alonzo Carrizalez Rengifo as the Minister of Infrastructure and on July 18, 2006, Franklin Fernandez Martinez became president of Conviasa.
The airline is owned by the Venezuela government (80%) and the regional government of Nueva Esparta (20%).
Conviasa recently partnered with Air Europa
and began codesharing its flight to Madrid
five days a week using Air Europa's aircraft. Conviasa plans to fly to Madrid using their own aircraft three days a week in the future.
Conviasa serve the following with their own aircraft as of June 2008:
Conviasa have code share agreements with the following:
The Conviasa fleet includes the following aircraft (as of 12 September 2008
Conviasa received their first Airbus A340-200 on May 11, 2006 for their Caracas-Madrid route from Air Europa, but the plane remained unused for some time, it now operates the Caracas-Damascus-Tehran flights.
The average age of Conviasa's fleet is 16 years.
Conviasa may plan to add Ilyushin Il-96s for long-haul flights, possibly due to its reluctance to purchase new aircraft from the United States.
Incidents and accidents
- On December 15, 2005, Conviasa flight 2600, a De Havilland Canada Dash 7 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 November 29, 2006, a Conviasa Boeing 737-200 with 94 passengers on board made an emergency return to Maracaibo's La Chinita International Airport ten minutes after takeoff due to a window fracture. On August 30, 2008, this same aircraft crashed near Latacunga, Ecuador, killing all three crew members on the plane.
- Between December 10, 2004 and March 26, 2006, 324,671 people have flown on Conviasa (252,896 domestically and 71,775 internationally).
- Conviasa flies over 23,740 seats worldwide per week.
- Conviasa has 9 flights each week from San Fernando de Apure.
- Conviasa flies over 552 seats internationally per week.
- The shortest flight on Conviasa is 86 miles from Guasdualito to Elorza.