Costa Ricans have gone flying proudly in their national airline, LACSA, to flying a regional airline trough the acquisition of Lacsa by TACA in the 1990’s, to no flying under the Colombian airline, AVIANCA.
Lacsa (Spanish: Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A.), was the national airline of Costa Rica.
Established on 17 October 1945 by Pan American World Airways (PAN AM), the Costa Rican government (20%) and Costa Rican private interests, it started operations on 1 June 1946 and was designated the national carrier in 1949. Its domestic network was transferred to wholly owned subsidiary Sansa in September 1959.
In the 1940’s the airline was based at the Sabana airport with its first international flight in 1947 to Nicaragua. In 1949 the airline got a boost to its fleet with the addition of a Curtiss C-46 and two DC-3’s.
In 1950, Lacsa began flights to Panama, La Habana (Cuba) and Miami. A year later it obtained a license to fly to the Gran Cayman, with the creation of Cayman Airways.
In 1967, Costa Rica’s national airline moved into the jet age, christening its fist jet “El Tico” (the Tico or Costarican).
The airline kept expanding. In 1981 it added flights to Guatemala and Puerto Rico and in 1987 was flying to New York, the first airline in the region to fly the destination.
In 1990, the airline added the Airbus A320 to its fleet, while working on an alliance with TACA, Aviateca and Nica that resulted in the consolidation of the Grupo TACA, passing from a national airline to being part of a regional airline.
Although Lacsa was now part of TACA, the brand name Lacsa continued in a small way. TACA operated the LACSA routes (LR), and in some airports the airline counter continued with the name Lacsa.
In 2009, the Colombian airline, Avianca, announces the acquisition of 70% of the shares of Grupo TACA, and began operating under the brand TACA AVIANCA.
Last year the Colombians announced killing off the TACA name, with its burial date of May 27, 2013. With it it also buried once and for ever the name LACSA.