Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas
|Operating bases||Silvio Pettirossi International Airport|
LAP was a creation of the Paraguayan Military Aviation in 1962. It was officially founded by the government through the Decree Nr.337 of March 18, 1963. Executives: President, Lt-Col Adrian Jara. It began services on August 20 of that year, using three Convair CV-240 aircraft. Services included flights to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paulo and Curitiba from the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion. The CV-240s were replaced by three Lockheed L-188A/C Electra turboprop airliners which were acquired from Eastern Air Lines in 1969 and were operated by LAP for over 20 years. In 1970, service started to Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Resistencia and Salta (Argentina) with a C-47 transferred from the Military Air Transport of the FAP. In 1972, La Paz (Bolivia) was added to LAP's network. In 1973 a route to Lima was inaugurated and in 1978 to Santiago (Chile).
LAP jet operations
The pure jet age came in 1978 with the purchase of two Boeing 707-320 from Pan American Airways and with those services to Miami began. In 1979, services started to Madrid and Frankfurt. When another 707 was bought (1982), service to Brussels started. Due to noise restrictions, a DC-8-63 ex-Air Canada was bought in 1984 for the route to Miami. During the 1980s other routes were tried like Mexico City and Panama City, but just for a few months. In 1988, an ex-SPANTAX DC-8-61 was bought. This plane had an accident in Bs.As. in 1990 and was replaced by a leased DC-8-62 for a few months. Also in 1990, LAP received an ex-UNITED DC-8-71 followed by another similar aircraft in 1991.
In 1992 a Douglas DC-10-30 came into service. Eventually LAP received two more DC-10-30, one ex-UTA for a few months and the other ex-VARIG. Operations to US and Europe were performed by the DC-10s and regional flights with a 707 and the DC-8-63. In 1993, and for a few months, a BAe 146-300 operated in LAP on loan from the factory. Since LAP was a government losing company, attempts to privatize were not fruitful and the money losing operation was shut down in 1994.
In October of that year, it was privatised and sold to an Ecuadorian-Paraguayan Consortium, which restarted operations in February 1995 with two Boeing 737-200 for regional routes, three Airbus A.320-200 for medium range routes in South America and an Airbus A.310-300 for the route to Miami. Flights to Europe were not initiated.
This company was resold to the Brazilian TAM Group in 1996, which used only Fokker 100 jets to cover all regional destinations. The airline was renamed TAM-Mercosur (Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur). Routes to Miami and Europe were never restarted. In 2008, TAM-Mercosur was absorbed by the parent company, TAM Airlines and the Paraguayan subsidiary was renamed as TAM Airlines (Paraguay) that now continues in service.
- 3 Convair CV-240 ex-Aerolíneas Argentinas
- 3 Lockheed L-188A/C Electra ex-Eastern Airlines
- 1 Douglas C-47B (R4D1) ex-Transporte Aéreo Militar/FAP
- 3 Boeing 707-320 ex-Pan Am
- 1 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63 ex-Air Canada
- 1 McDonnell Doulgas DC-8-61 ex-Spantax
- 1 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-62 (leased)
- 2 McDonnell Douglas DC-8-71 (leased) ex-United
- 3 McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 (leased)
- 1 British Aerospace BAe 146-300 (leased)
- Eastwood, Tony and Roach, John, Turbo Prop Airliner Production List, 1998, The Aviation Hobby Shop, ISBN 0-907178-69-3.
- "La Historia de Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas" by Antonio Luis Sapienza Fracchia. Author's edition. Asunción. 2004
- Eastwood and Roach, 1998, p. 432
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