Avianca Costa Rica, formerly known as Lacsa (Spanish: Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A.), minority owned by the Synergy Group, is the nationalairline of Costa Rica and is based in San José. It operates international scheduled services to over 35 destinations in Central, North and South America. When it was a subsidiary of Grupo TACA, the airline was also known as TACA/LACSA. Since May 2013, when Grupo TACA was bought, Avianca Costa Rica is one of the seven nationally branded airlines (Avianca Ecuador, Avianca Honduras, etc.) in the Avianca Holdings group of Latin American airlines.
Lacsa was established on 17 October 1945 by Pan American World Airways, the Costa Rican government 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 its wholly owned subsidiary Sansa in September 1959.
Lacsa operated the Douglas DC-6B four-engined piston airliner from 1960 until 1976 on their regular passenger, and eventually freight, scheduled flights to Miami International Airport. The airline introduced the first of their British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin-engined jet airliners onto their Caribbean passenger route network in April 1967.
Since 1999, the five airlines in the alliance began flying under the TACA brand. 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.
On May 23, 1988, a leased Boeing 727-100, registered TI-LRC and operating the route San Jose-Managua-Miami, collided with a fence at the end of the runway in the Juan Santamaria International Airport, crashed at a nearby field next to a highway, and caught fire. The excess of weight in the front part of the airplane was the cause of the accident. There were no fatalities out of the 23 occupants.
On 11 January 1998, Lacsa flight 691, an Airbus A320, veered off a runway at San Francisco International Airport during the takeoff roll. The aircraft left the runway at full speed, coming to rest in a field of mud. The runway was closed after the incident, reducing take-off capacity by 50 percent, leading to massive delays at the airport. None of the 122 passengers on board the aircraft sustained injuries, and stayed at a hotel until another aircraft could transport them to their destination, San Jose, in Costa Rica. The cause of the incident was not determined.