Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais

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Nordeste Linhas Aéreas
IATA ICAO Callsign
JH NES Nordeste
Ceased operations2007 (as Flex Linhas Aereas)
Fleet size1
HeadquartersSalvador, Brazil
Key peopleCarlos Berardinelli (Director)*/

Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais was a regional airline based in Brotas, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil[1] which operated scheduled passenger services in northeast and southeast Brazil. Its main base was Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport, Salvador.[2]

Between 2006 and 2008, Viação Aérea Rio-grandense (informally known as old Varig) used the brand Nordeste Linhas Aéreas for its operations.


On November 11, 1975 the Brazilian Federal Government created the Brazilian Integrated System of Regional Air Transportation and divided the country in five different regions, for which five newly created regional airlines received a concession to operate air services. Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais S/A was the second of those regional airlines to be made operational. Its services started on June 25, 1976 and its operational area comprised roughly the Northeast and parts of the Southeast regions of Brazil, specifically the states of Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe, Bahia and parts of Maranhão, Minas Gerais, and Espírito Santo plus the possibility of serving the cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasília when linking them to its area of concession.[3]

Originally Nordeste was formed by the Bahia state government which provided two-thirds of the start-up capital and Transbrasil which provided one-third.

In 1995 Nordeste was bought and incorporated by Rio Sul Serviços Aéreos Regionais, an airline owned by Ruben Berta Foundation, a foundation that also owned Varig. Finally, in 2002 the administration of Varig, Rio-Sul and Nordeste was unified, although Ruben Berta Foundation kept the three brand names independent. At that time, the brands Nordeste and Rio Sul provided feeder services to Varig.

On 17 June 2005 Varig including its former subsidiaries requested to be placed under bankruptcy protection and to begin a recovery process. The request was granted on 22 June 2005.[4]

As part of this process, the airline was divided into two portions, informally known as "old" Varig and "new" Varig. "Old" Varig was judicially known as Viação Aérea Rio-grandense. "New" Varig, judicially known as VRG Linhas Aéreas, is a new airline formed with some assets of the original Varig and which was auctioned on 14 July 2006. The legal procedures were finalized on 20 July 2006.[5] Since that day VRG Linhas Aéreas and Viação Aérea Rio-grandense have been different judicial entities and airlines.

At the time of the auction, the assets of VRG Linhas Aéreas comprised the brands Varig and Rio Sul, Varig's route rights, all aircraft but one and the Smiles mileage program. VRG Linhas Aéreas was bought by VarigLog. On 28 March 2007 VarigLog sold "new Varig" to Gol Transportes Aéreos, which presently operates the brand Varig and retains but does not operate the brand Rio Sul.[6]

Viação Aérea Rio-grandense, informally known as "old Varig", retained the brand of Varig's former subsidiary Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais, the IATA code of Nordeste, one aircraft, debts, liabilities, legal disputes, and various assets, concessions and properties of the original Varig. Since "old Varig", could not use the brand name Varig anymore, it used the brand name Nordeste Linhas Aéreas. Later, on October 23, 2007, the brand name was changed to Flex Linhas Aéreas.[7]

Between 17 June 2005 and 2 September 2009, Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense, operator of the brand Nordeste Linhas Aéreas and since 2007 known by the brand Flex, remained in Recovery Order in the 1st Business Court of Rio de Janeiro, under the leadership of Judges Luiz Roberto Ayoub and Miguel Dau. Since bankruptcy protection was lifted, the administration of the airline returned to its original owner, Fundação Ruben Berta.[8] Currently "old Varig" is on a BRL4 billion (USD2,1 billion, EUR1,5 billion) judicial dispute with the Federal Government of Brazil, a sum that corresponds to approximately 50% of its debts. The question is under analysis at the Federal Supreme Court and the airline has already won the cause in all other instances.[9] Furthermore, the financial problems of "old Varig" persist, including momentary failure to pay the due insurance costs of its sole aircraft and leasing fees to the owner of the aircraft.[10]

On November 10, 2009 the director Aurélio Penelas was replaced by Carlos Berardinelli, who was able to reach an agreement with the lessor weeks later.[11]

As a result of accumulated debts around BRL10 billion (USD5,7 billion, EUR4,5 billion), on August 20, 2010, at the request of the administrator, the 1st Business Court of Rio de Janeiro declared Flex, which included remaining assets of Nordeste, bankrupt and initiated the process of liquidation.[12][13]


Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais operated services (in its own right) to the following domestic scheduled destinations (at January 2005): Porto Seguro, Salvador and São Paulo.


Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais Fleet
Aircraft Total Years of Operation Notes
Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante 1976-
Embraer EMB 120 Brasília
Fokker 50
Boeing 737-500

At the time of shut-down Nordeste Linhas Aéreas Regionais had a fleet of five aircraft.[2]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 23–29 March 1994. 109. "Head office: Avenida Dom Joao VI 259, Brotas, Salvador, Brazil 40285-001"
  2. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-10. p. 56.
  3. ^ Garófalo, Gílson de Lima (1982). O Mercado Brasileiro de Transporte Aéreo Regional (in Portuguese). São Paulo: Instituto de Pesquisas Econômicas. pp. 103–107, 121–122.
  4. ^ Agência Brasil (22 June 2005), "Justiça autoriza plano de recuperação da Varig", Valor Econômico
  5. ^ Grabois, Ana Paula (20 July 2006), "Oficializada venda da Varig para VarigLog pelo preço de R$52,334 milhões", Valor Econômico
  6. ^ Grabois, Ana Paula (28 March 2007), "Para Ayoub, compra da Varig pela Gol deve ajudar Varig antiga", Valor Econômico
  7. ^ Rosas, Rafael (22 October 2007), "Em recuperação judicial, "velha" Varig pode voltar a voar em dezembro, agora com o nome de Flex", Valor Econômico
  8. ^ Baeta, Zínia (3 September 2009), "Justiça do Rio encerra processo de recuperação judicial da Varig", Valor Econômico
  9. ^ Barbosa, Mariana (25 August 2009), "Disputa de valores emperra acordo entre União e velha Varig", O Estado de S. Paulo
  10. ^ Komatsu, Alberto (3 November 2009), "Flex busca, até sexta-feira, solução para sobreviver", Valor Econômico
  11. ^ Komatsu, Alberto (4 December 2009), "Flex negocia prazos e volta a voar para a Gol", Valor Econômico
  12. ^ "Justiça decreta falência da Flex, antiga Varig" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. 20 August 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  13. ^ Laguna, Eduardo (20 August 2010). "Justiça do Rio decreta a falência da antiga Varig" (in Portuguese). Valor Online. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Accident description PT-GKA". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Accident description PT-SCU". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  16. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Fogo na decolagem". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 364–369. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.
  17. ^ "Accident description PT-TBB". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  18. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Nordeste 092". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 371–375. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.


  • Beting, Gianfranco; Beting, Joelmir (2009). Varig: Eterna Pioneira. Porto Alegre and São Paulo: EDIPUCRS and Beting Books. ISBN 978-85-7430-901-9.
  • Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve História da Aviação Comercial Brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Europa.

External links[edit]