Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela

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Not to be confused with Aéropostale.
Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela
Aeropostal logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
VH ALV AEROPOSTAL
Founded 3 July 1929
Hubs Simón Bolívar Int'l Airport
Fleet size 8
Destinations 11
Parent company Corporación Alas de Venezuela (Gobierno Bolivariano de Venezuela)
Headquarters Torre Polar Oeste
Caracas, Venezuela
Key people Eduardo Legaspi Zuazua, president[1]
Website www.aeropostal.com

Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, normally referred to as just Aeropostal, is a state-owned airline of Venezuela based in Torre Polar Oeste in Caracas, Venezuela.[2] It operates domestic services and international services in the Caribbean. Its main base is Simón Bolívar International Airport, Caracas.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). under which title of the aircraft transferred to the Alas owners but Alas allowed the airline to continue flying the aircraft in return for various payments. CAV and Aeropostal subsequently defaulted on the settlement and further litigation followed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York under case reference 652688/2012,[3] as a result of which, CAV and Aeropostal owe the successors to Alas very significant damages.

At March 2007[4] Aeropostal had 2,319 employees.

Flights to the United States began in July 1998 and to Madrid in November 2001, although the latter have since ceased. In the late 1990s, Aeropostal introduced two Irish registered Airbus A320s EI-TL,O and EI-TL,P to fly alongside the fleet of DC-9, McDonnell Douglas MD-83 and Boeing 727-200 jets. At the end of 2007, Nelson Ramiz (then CEO) reduced the fleet of 22 to only 3 claiming that the currency controls imposed by the Venezuelan government prevented him from maintaining the fleet, and that fare controls kept Aeropostal from making a profit. During that period, the Venezuelan Government planned on shutting down the airline if major changes were not planned.

The INAC (The Federal Aviation Administration of Venezuela) temporarily grounded Aeropostal operations, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in the high-travel holiday season.

As of 2008 it was reported that the airline was sold to a group led by the Mahkled family from the state of Carabobo, Venezuela. The Makled family were later arrested by the Venezuelan government on money laundering and drug running charges but this transaction has been challenged as ineffective as neither Ramiz nor his wife had the power to transfer the shares as these were pledged to Alas under the settlement agreement referred to above. In 2009 the Venezuelan government announced its intention to nationalise Aeropostal, following the arrest of several owners and employees in 2008 on Interpol drug trafficking warrants.[5]

An Aeropostal MD-82 at Jacinto Lara International Airport

On 25 February 2011, Aeropostal's Special Managing Board officially announced the retirement of YV141T, the last DC-9-30 in the active fleet. The final commercial flight was done on 10 March 2011. Although the -30s Series has been retired, the McDonnell-Douglas DC-9-50s will continue flying for Aeropostal, and according to LAV there are no plans for their retirement in the next 3 years.

Destinations[edit]

Aeropostal operates flights to the following destinations:

South America

Fleet[edit]

As of January 2011, the Aeropostal fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 28 years:[6]

Aeropostal fleet
Aircraft In Service Passengers Notes
J Y Total
McDonnell Douglas DC-9-50
1
0 130 130
McDonnell Douglas MD-82
3
0 164 164
McDonnell Douglas MD-82
3
0 155 155
McDonnell Douglas MD-83
1
12 128 140 Currently stored
Total 8

Retired Fleet[edit]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Aeropostal has had a total of 24 accidents and incidents since 23 April 1937 with a total of 319 fatalities. The worst accident for Aeropostal (and the worst scheduled-airline accident in history until then)[7] was on 20 June 1956, when 74 people were killed when a Lockheed Constellation, registration YV-C-AMS, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York.[8]

  • On 27 November 1956, Linea Aeropostal Flight 253, crashed while on approach to Caracas International Airport. All 25 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • On 25 January 1971, Vickers Viscount YV-C-AMV of Linea Aeropostal Venezolana crashed into a mountain near Mérida. Thirteen of the 47 people on board were killed.[9]
  • On 1 November 1971, Vickers Viscount YV-C-AMZ of Linea Aeropostal Venezolana crashed shortly after take-off from La Chinita International Airport, Maracaibo. All four people on board were killed.[10]
  • On 27 August 1972, Douglas C-47 YV-C-AKE of Linea Aeropostal Venezolana suffered a failure of the port engine shortly after take-off from Canaima Airport on a domestic scheduled passenger flight to Tomás de Heres Airport, Ciudad Bolivar. The aircraft crashed whilst attempting to return to Canaima, killing all 34 people on board.[11]
  • On 14 August 1974, Vickers Viscount YV-C-AMX of Linea Aeropostal Venezolana flew into La Gloria, Isla Margarita due to rains caused by Tropical Storm Alma killing all 49 people on board.[12]
  • On 29 July 1984, Aeropostal Flight 252 from Caracas to Curaçao, two gunmen, one Haitian and one of Dominican nationality, hijacked the plane with 79 people on board. The hijackers demanded money, weapons, and a helicopter to remove five children from the aircraft, and also threatened to blow up the plane if stormed. The plane was stormed by Venezuelan commandos of the DISIP, both hijackers were killed, and all hostages were released, ending the 36-hour-long crisis.[13]
  • On 5 March 1991, Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela Flight 108 from Maracaibo to Santa Bárbara del Zulia crashed into a hillside after takeoff. All 45 on board were killed.
  • On 26 Sep 2011, Aeropostal DC9-50 YV136T made a hard touch down at Puerto Ordaz causing both engines' (JT8D) pylons and support structures at the airframe to crack and distort nearly separating the engines from the airframe. The airplane slowed safely, stopped on the runway and was shut down. No injuries occurred, the aircraft received substantial damage. The passengers disembarked onto the runway.[14]

Inflight magazine[edit]

PASAJERO 2007 Cover. Published by Playalens, Inc.

Pasajero ("Passenger") is Aeropostal's in-flight magazine. It is published six times a year with a circulation of 20,000 copies distributed in all domestic and international Aeropostal flights. Pasajero is published by Playalens, Inc., a Hispanic-owned Miami-based publishing company.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.eluniversal.com/economia/130808/cordero-urgelles-fue-designado-presidente-de-aeropostal
  2. ^ "Contacto Archived 20 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine.." Aeropostal. Retrieved on 7 April 2010.
  3. ^ New York Supreme Court Index No. 652688/2012
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference FI was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ Venezuelanalysis, 29 March 2009, Venezuela to Nationalize Drug Trafficking-Linked Airline Aeropostal.
  6. ^ Aeropostal fleet list at planespotters.net
  7. ^ NY Times, 21 June 1956 p23. The worst airline accident was a charter Avro Tudor crash in Wales in March 1950 that killed 80.
  8. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  11. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  13. ^ Hijackers Only Casualties In Rescue Raid
  14. ^ Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-9-51 YV136T Puerto Ordaz Airport

External links[edit]