TACA Airlines is a carrier based in El Salvador that provides freight and passenger service to destinations in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Europe. The airline was founded in 1931 by Lowell Yerex, a native of New Zealand.
In the 1930s, TACA was one of the largest freight carriers in the world, serving the Americas. Business started to slow with the advent of World War II and was further hampered by civil unrest erupting locally in El Salvador. The carrier was sold to an American firm and the home base shifted to New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Kriete family were minority stockholders in TACA and in 1980. They bought out the remaining shares and moved the airline back to El Salvador. The focus shifted from mostly freight to a more even mix of passenger and freight services. Eventually, the airline expanded by consolidating with other airlines in Latin America, including Lasca in Costa Rica and AVIATECA in Guatemala.
Further expansion occurred in 2009 when TACA joined Avianca, a Colombian carrier. Each carrier would operate under its own name. In 2012, the merged carriers, using the Avianca name, became part of Star Alliance, which offered world-wide exposure.