ColombiaOne.comColombia newsAvianca: The Second Oldest Airline in the World

Avianca: The Second Oldest Airline in the World


Avianca, the second oldest airline in the world and the first airline in America, has a storied history that spans over nine decades.

Since its inception, Avianca has been at the forefront of aviation innovation, connecting people across the Americas and beyond. With a commitment to excellence, safety, and customer service, Avianca has become a symbol of reliability and a pioneer in the airline industry.

Avianca operates the second largest fleet in South America, after the Chilean LATAM, and is the third best airline in the subcontinent according to Skytrax World Airline Awards after LATAM and Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras. Its connection centers are located in the El Dorado (Bogota), El Salvador (San Salvador) and Jorge Chavez (Lima) airports.

Founding and Early Years

Avianca traces its roots back to December 5, 1919, when it was established as the national airline of Colombia. The company was originally named SCADTA (Sociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte Aereo), and it began its operations with a fleet of Junkers F.13 aircraft. SCADTA’s first flight, from Barranquilla to Puerto Berrio, marked the beginning of a new era in Colombian aviation.

Expansion and Innovation

Throughout the years, Avianca expanded its routes and modernized its fleet. In the 1930s, it became the first airline in the world to fly on a regular basis over the Panama Canal, connecting the Americas and opening up new possibilities for international travel.

Avianca continued to lead the way by introducing the first jet-powered aircraft in Latin America, the Boeing 707, in 1960.

Avianca Plane
Avianca plane at El Dorado airport in Bogota. Credit: Luis Ospino/Colombia One

Avianca’s Commitment to Safety

As one of the oldest airlines in operation, Avianca has always placed a strong emphasis on safety. The company has continuously invested in advanced training programs for its pilots, maintenance technicians, and ground staff.

Avianca’s commitment to safety has earned it a reputation as one of the most reliable and secure airlines in the region, ensuring that passengers can travel with peace of mind.

Expanding Horizons

Over the years, Avianca has expanded its reach beyond Colombia, establishing itself as a prominent international airline. Today, Avianca serves destinations in North, Central, and South America, as well as Europe and the Caribbean. With its extensive network and strategic partnerships with other airlines, Avianca offers seamless connections to travelers worldwide.

Avianca Colombia
One of the airline’s planes in flight. Credit: Luis Ospino/Colombia One

Avianca’s legacy as a pioneer in the airline industry and its unwavering commitment to excellence have secured its position as an iconic airline. From its humble beginnings as SCADTA to its current status as a leading international carrier, Avianca’s contributions to the development of air travel in the Americas are unparalleled.

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