TOAY COSTA RICA – Yes, Costa Rica did have its own airline, the Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A. (LACSA).
The airline was created in October 17, 1945, with the help of Pan American World Airways (PanAm). It started operations on June 1, 1946, using Douglas DC-3s for local services within Costa Rica, operating as an affiliate of Pan Am. six months later, 3% of the shares were sold to the Government of the Republic.
The airline was designated as Costa Rica’s Flag carrier in 1949. It was nationalized in 1958, with flights to Central America and Miami. Almost immediately it expanded to cover several American and South American cities. It became the Central American airline with the most destinations.
At some point in its history, it became the Central American airline with the most international destinations and the first in the isthmus to fly Airbus A320s, but the poor economic situation forced the either State to sell it or close it.
After several years of inadvertently existing and having ceased to be the national company in charge of air transport, Líneas Aéreas Costarricenses Sociedad Anónima (LACSA) would disappear.
Beginning in 1998, TACA/LACSA was one of the member airlines comprising the TACA Airlines alliance along with Aviateca of Guatemala, Nica of Nicaragua, Isleña of Honduras, and five other regional airlines.
In 2008 a new TACA logo was introduced, followed by a new fleet of Embraer 190 airplanes registered in Costa Rica and operated under the LACSA code. In 2009, Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and TACA announced their merger plans to be completed in 2010.
By 2013, the airlines began operating as a single commercial brand Avianca Costa Rica S.A., using the Avianca name, completely erasing what was the first Costa Rican airline from the books.
On Thursday, October 19, 2017, LACSA disappears definitively, when at the airline’s facilities in Uruca through a shareholders’ meeting “the change of corporate name from LACSA to Avianca Costa Rica S.A. was approved, with the representation of 92.53% of the partners”.
However, the “LR” code continues on many routes originated by LACSA. Read more: In Mexico, Costa Rica’s LACSA lives on!
A thank you to Freddy Pacheco for the inspiration for the article and for posting the photos.