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Avianca Airlines History

Avianca Airlines, with the IATA code AV, is one of the oldest and most renowned airlines in Latin America. Founded in 1919, it holds the distinction of being the second oldest airline in the world, just behind KLM. Over its century-long history, Avianca has played a significant role in shaping the aviation industry on the continent.

The airline was initially established as SCADTA (Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo) by a group of German and Colombian investors. Its first flight took place on December 5, 1919, with a route between Barranquilla and Puerto Berrío in Colombia. SCADTA quickly expanded its operations, connecting various cities within Colombia and eventually expanding to international destinations.

In 1940, SCADTA changed its name to Avianca, derived from the Spanish word "aviación" (aviation) and "canción" (song). This rebranding marked a new era for the airline, solidifying its identity and setting the stage for further growth.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Avianca airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your AV Avianca flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Avianca’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Avianca has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out AV’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Avianca, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Avianca's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Avianca, if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

Throughout the 20th century, Avianca continued to expand its route network and modernize its fleet. It introduced jet aircraft in the 1960s, becoming one of the first airlines in the region to do so. This allowed Avianca to offer faster and more efficient flights, further enhancing its reputation as a leading carrier.

Over the years, Avianca has faced various challenges, including economic downturns and political instability in the region. However, the airline has managed to overcome these obstacles and emerge as a resilient and innovative player in the industry.

Today, Avianca operates an extensive network of domestic and international flights, serving destinations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. It is a member of the Star Alliance, a global airline alliance that provides passengers with seamless travel experiences and a wide range of benefits.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Avianca Guide.

Find more help here for your journey through the airport