Venezuelan market not growing despite country’s oil wealth; American Airlines, Miami top international airline and airport

The nation’s leader greets another ordinary American citizen. The US is the largest international market and American Airlines is the biggest carrier operating international flights.

The nation’s leader greets another ordinary American citizen. The US is the largest international market and American Airlines is the biggest carrier operating international flights.

Venezuela has an estimated population of around 29 million people and considerable wealth thanks to its status as one of the world’s key oil producing nations. The country’s main airport, Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetia, is located around 20 kilometres from Caracas and currently handles around nine million passengers per annum, making it one of Latin America’s top 10 busiest airports. According to OAG data, Venezuela has 14 airports with scheduled services, with Caracas airport accounting for around 50% of all scheduled flights and almost 60% of scheduled seat capacity. After Caracas, the country’s next biggest airports are Porlamar (PMV), Barcelona (BLA) and Maracaibo (MAR).

Conviasa began flying in 2003 as a replacement for Viasa (the national flag carrier collapsed in 1997) mainly operates domestic routes, but in the last year has launched services to Buenos Aires, Madrid, Havana and Bogota.

Conviasa began flying in 2003 as a replacement for Viasa (the national flag carrier collapsed in 1997) mainly operates domestic routes, but in the last year has launched services to Buenos Aires, Madrid, Havana and Bogota.

Several local airlines compete on domestic routes

Venezuela has several locally-based airlines, the biggest of which appears to be Aserca, which operates a fleet of over 20 MD80/DC-9 series aircraft, mostly on domestic routes. Conviasa, which began flying in 2003 as a replacement for Viasa (the national flag carrier that collapsed in 1997), has a varied fleet of around 20 aircraft and also operates mostly domestic routes, but in the last year has launched routes to Buenos Aires (May 2010), Madrid (September 2010), Havana (February 2011) and Bogota (April 2011).

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 6 June 2011

Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 6 June 2011

Avior Airlines is another local carrier operating a small fleet of 737-200s, while Aeropostal has a handful of MD80/DC-9s. The average age of aircraft operated by airlines in Venezuela must be at least 20 years.

International non-stop services to 21 countries including five in Europe

The US is the leading international market with flights from Caracas to Atlanta (Delta), Dallas/Ft Worth (American), Houston (Continental), Miami (American with four daily flights, LAN and Santa Barbara Airlines) and New York (American Airlines). Not surprisingly, Miami is the leading international destination in terms of weekly seat capacity (ahead of Panama City and Madrid), and American Airlines is the biggest carrier operating international flights to Venezuela (ahead of Santa Barbara Airlines). The country is also connected to Canada thanks to three weekly flights with Air Canada to Toronto.

Non-stop flights to and from Europe are offered to Madrid (by Air Europa, Conviasa, Iberia and Santa Barbara Airlines), Frankfurt (daily with Lufthansa), Paris (daily with Air France), Rome (daily with Alitalia) and three destinations in Portugal (all operated by TAP). There are currently no direct flights between the UK and Venezuela.

In total, 31 international destinations are currently served non-stop from Venezuela across 21 countries. Other airlines providing international services are Aerolineas Argentinas, Avianca, Caribbean Airlines, COPA Airlines, Cubana, GOL/Varig, TACA and TAM.


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Comments

  1. Elaine says:

    Doesn’t Air Europa operate flights from Santiago de Compostela (SCQ), Spain?

  2. jan jaroszynski says:

    A very interesting and complete analysis so thank you to the person compiling all the data and information. Surprised no mention was made to one of the most bizarre intercontinental scheduled operations the industry has ever seen. From CCS to IKA via DAM on a CONVIASA A340-300 every 14 days. Other than a few Syrian ethnic Venezuelans per flight, at first glance there was no economic rationale behind this operation. The non-economic rationale justifying this route settled on the glorified ties between two “brotherley nations” or at least this is what Messers. Mahmud and Hugo keep chanting. There was also widespread speculation that these flights were carrying uranium and other nuclear power related material from Iran and that the apparent innocent passenger scheduled service wsa used to camouflage this type of trade. Have checked OAG Schedules and this service does not appear neither now nor for W11 ops. However, for DAM Airport under Wikipeda it is stated Conviasa resumes DAM to CCS on 03JUL. Can anybody shed some light on this and whether the route will again operate? Thanks

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