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TACA is the trade name "brand" comprising a group of five independently IATA-coded and -owned Central American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one and a number of other independently owned and IATA-coded regional airlines which code-share and feed the TACA brand system. TACA, originally an acronym of Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos (Central American Air Transport), now stands for Transportes Aéreos del Continente Americano (Air Transport of the American Continent), reflecting its expansion to North, Central, South America and the Caribbean.

The five airlines are:

  • TACA International (TA) (El Salvador)
  • Aviateca (GU) (Guatemala)
  • Regional (GU) - Formerly Inter, it operates under Aviateca's code.
  • Lacsa (LR) (Costa Rica)
Lacsa is the only airline of the group that still operates international flights with its own flight numbers. Its hub is at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica.
  • SANSA (Costa Rica) (RZ)
  • Isleña Airlines (WC) (Honduras)
  • Nicaragüense de Aviación (6Y) (Nicaragua)
Regional - La Costeña
  • TACA Perú (T0) (Peru) is now an important part of Grupo TACA.

AviancaTaca[]

In October 2009 it was announced that TACA would merge its assets in a strategic alliance with Colombian airline Avianca, in which case each will maintain their own trademark and operations. Avianca and TACA currently operate a combined fleet of 129 aircraft, serving over 100 destinations in the Americas and Europe.[1] In December 2009 approval for the merger was given by the Colombian Civil Aeronautical Agency.[2]

Ecuadorian airline Aerogal also announced its merger into Avianca-TACA by the end of October 2009.[3]

Service[]

File:TACA airplanes SJO 04 2005.jpg

Two Airbus aircraft from Grupo TACA at the Juan Santamaria International Airport. TACA operates at SJO one of its three major hubs.

File:CRI 08 2009 SJO SANSA 6974.JPG

SANSA aircraft at Juan Santamaría International Airport.

TACA has three flight hubs or "Centros de Conexiones":[4]

  • TACA hub at Comalapa International Airport in San Salvador, El Salvador
  • TACA Perú hub at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru
  • Lacsa hub at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica

TACA's headquarters are in San Salvador, El Salvador.[5]

TACA's regional airlines system includes the following airlines:

  • Aeroperlas
  • Regional Operating under Aviateca's code
  • Islena Airlines
  • La Costeña
  • SANSA

History[]

Template:Refimprove section

File:TACA Airlines logo (until 2008).svg

The former Grupo TACA logo before 2008

TACA was founded in 1931 by New Zealander Lowell Yerex. TACA was once the "world's largest cargo carrier."Template:Citation needed. The idea of its founder was to establish one airline in each Latin-American country, such as Aerovias Brasil in Brazil and other TACAs in Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia.Template:Citation neededOut of all the TACA franchise airlines created, only TACA International of El Salvador survived, and has now ventured in acquisitions and has helped launch airlines such as the Mexican Volaris and has 49% shares in TACA Peru.

Until 1980 TACA was owned by a United States company and had its corporate headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana (due to the civil war raging in El Salvador) in 1980 the Kriete Family of El Salvador who owned a minority stock completed buying all the shares. Today the headquarters returned to San Salvador, El Salvador to a new building which was inaugurated in 2008.

Between 1989 and 1995, TACA bought the majority shares of the flag airlines of Guatemala (AVIATECA), Costa Rica (Lacsa), and Nicaragua (NICA), consolidating operations under a new brand name, Grupo TACA. In 2008, Roberto Kriete and the board of directors decided to revert back to the original name; TACA International Airlines since the consolidation of the acquired airlines was completed. It has announced that it will join Star Alliance in 2012 and all of its affiliates, except Volaris will join the alliance as affiliate members.

AviancaTaca alliance (since 2009)
The merger of Colombia's Avianca and Salvadoran-based TACA is the latest sign that consolidation in the Latin American airline sector is picking up.

The newly formed Holdco - which will be controlled jointly by Avianca and TACA - instantly becomes one of the region's largest airlines after Brazil's TAM and GOL, with 129 aircraft and flights to more than 100 destinations.

In November 2009, the airline's Chief Executive Fabio Villegas announced that the airline is looking to replace its Fokker 50 and Fokker 100 aircraft with newer aircraft of 100 seats or less. The 10 Fokker 50s and 15 Fokker 100s are currently operated on flights shorter than one-and-a-half hours. Aircraft manufactured by Brazil's Embraer, Canada's Bombardier Aerospace and the Airbus A318 are being considered for the replacement.[6]

In December 2010, The airline made the decision to retire the Fokker 100 aircraft in 2011 and replace them with 10 Airbus A318 leased from GECAS from 2011-2018. The aircraft will be delivered during January to February 2011.

Star Alliance (from 2012)
On November 10, 2010 Star Alliance announced Avianca (and its subsidiary, TACA) to become full member in mid-2012. Due to Avianca's entry into Star Alliance it will stop its code share agreement with Delta Air Lines in March 2011 and begin a new code share agreement with United Airlines and Continental Airlines. TACA has been code sharing with United Airlines for a while now.

Lacsa[]

Lacsa is the only airline of the merger that has current operations. Lacsa operates with its own crew, service, and hub at San Jose. Its main hub is Juan Santamaría International Airport

From 1946 until 1949 TACA was serving the NICARAGUAN TERRITORY flying from Managua to the Atlantic coast Puerto Cabezas, Alamicamba, etc. It was replaced in that route for a Somoza owned company called FANSA. In 1956 a VISCOUNT plane of TACA taking off from Managua airport (LAS MERCEDES) went down killing several passengers.

Destinations[]

Main Article: TACA destinations, Lacsa destinations, TACA Perú destinations

File:TACA PERU Airbus SJO 28 2005.jpg

Airbus from TACA Perú flying for Grupo TACA at Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica.

File:CRI 08 2009 SJO TACA EMBRAER 6961.JPG

Embraer 190 from Lacsa flying for Grupo TACA at Juan Santamaria International Airport, Costa Rica.

File:Embraer 190 de TACA en MROC.JPG

TACA's new Embraer 190 with the new paint scheme.

TACA has a total of 50 destinations around the world and continues to grow.

  • The hub at Comalapa International Airport, near San Salvador, makes connections between all of Central America and North America (Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Toronto, Washington), as well as Lima, Perú and Bogotá, Colombia (In codeshare agreement with Avianca)
  • The hub at Jorge Chavez International Airport, near Lima, Peru, handles all connections to the South American routes and serves Costa Rica, El Salvador, Havana and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
  • TACA has developed a focus city at La Aurora International Airport, near Guatemala City, serving North American Destinations (Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami), Central American Destinations (El Salvador, Managua, San Jose (CR), San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa), Mexican Destinations (Cancun, Mexico City). Most of its flights connect in either SAL or SJO.
  • TACA has a focus city at Miami International Airport with non stop flights to Guatemala City, Guatemala; San Salvador, El Salvador; Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula and Roatan, Honduras; Managua, Nicaragua; San Jose, Costa Rica and Lima, Peru.

TACA's Evolution[]

On September 24, 2008, TACA Chairman and CEO Roberto Kriete introduced a new brand of identity by unveiling a new Airbus aircraft painted in TACA's new colour scheme. The event also included a fashion show featuring the new uniforms for TACA staff designed by Colombian designer Isabel Henao.Template:Citation needed

Skytrax[]

TACA Airlines won the Skytrax award in the following categories:[7]

2009

  • Best Airline: Central America
  • Best Regional Airline: Central America
  • Best Cabin Staff: Central America & the Caribbean

2010

  • Best Airline: Central America
  • Best Cabin Staff: Central America & the Caribbean

2011

  • Best Airline: Central America & the Caribbean
  • Best Cabin Staff: Central America & the Caribbean

Fleet[]

As of June 2011, the TACA fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 5.5 years:[8][9][10]

Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 9 4
12 108 120 one aircraft stored
Airbus A320-200 15 27
12 138 150
Airbus A320neo[11]
33
TBA
Airbus A321-200 5
12 182 194
Airbus A330-200
2
TBA
Embraer 190 11 2 15 8 88 96
Total 40 64 15

Historic fleet[]

Taca has operated the following types:

  • Stinson Reliant
  • Bellanca CH-400 Skyrocket[12]
  • Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor (The Smithsonian has preserved one of TACA's Fords)[13]
  • Douglas DC-3
  • Douglas DC-4
  • Lockheed 18 Lodestar (The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society has preserved one of TACA's Lockheeds[14])
  • Vickers Viscount 768

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Reciprocal Frequent Flyer Agreements[]

File:TACAOfficeinHouston.JPG

Grupo TACA Office and Ticketing on Bellaire Boulevard in the Gulfton area of Houston, Texas, United States

LifeMiles is the Taca and Avianca frequent flyer program; it replaced the old "Distancia" program.[17]

In addition to earning miles on TACA and TACA Regional flights, Taca has partnerships with the following airlines:

Joining of a Major "Airline Alliance"[]

TACA was not a part of a formal airline alliance prior to November 2008, although it did exchange frequent flyer incentives to other airlines customers prior to this.

In November 2008 the chief executive of TACA Roberto Kriete revealed on the ALTA airline leaders forum in Cancun that TACA has submitted an application to join the Star Alliance.[2]

On Wednesday November 10, 2010 it was announced that TACA Airlines along with Avianca Airlines together part of Avianca-TACA Ltd. had chosen to join the Star Alliance. Both to be accepted in the year 2012.

Accidents and incidents[]

File:Taca Guatemala.jpg

TACA Flight 510 crash in Guatemala City, April 6, 1993

  • On March 5, 1959, Vickers Viscount YS-09C crashed shortly after take-off from Managua Airport, Nicaragua when both port engines failed. Fifteen of the 19 people on board were killed.[20]
  • On May 24, 1988, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, Boeing 737-300: TACA Flight 110: A double engine flameout due to water ingestion, a result of an in-flight encounter with an area of very heavy rain and hail. The design of the engines and FAA water ingestion certification standards did not take into account the higher water volume of strong or severe thunderstorms while operating at lower power. NTSB Report
  • On April 6, 1993, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Boeing 767-200, TACA Flight 510, overran the runway after not being able to brake on flooded landing field.
  • On May 30, 2008, Toncontín International Airport, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Airbus A320 EI-TAF: TACA Flight 390, from San Salvador overran a rain-soaked runway in approach to Tegucigalpa Airport. There were five fatalities, three of which were occupants.[21]

References[]

External links[]

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Template:Avianca Template:IATA members Template:Star Alliance

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