||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (December 2011)|
|Founded||2001 (as RAVSA)|
|Hubs||La Chinita Int'l Airport|
|Focus cities||Simón Bolívar International Airport|
|Company slogan||In every way...|
|Parent company||Rutas Aéreas de Venezuela S.A.|
Venezolana is a Venezuelan low-cost airline based in Maracaibo, Venezuela. It was established in 2001, but it did not start scheduled operations until 2007. The airline offers and operates daily scheduled services to 11 domestic and international destinations.
The airline was founded by Venezuelan investors in 2001 as RAVSA, but it was not until 2007 that the airline started up operations under the name of Venezolana.
During the 2000s, the airline experienced a rapid expansion around the international and domestic market, especially with the regional route between the cities of Maracaibo and Caracas, which is one of the most popular routes in Venezuela.
When operations started up in 2007, Venezolana began to acquire through the years a mixed fleet of used Boeing 737-200 and McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft in order to start further more scheduled services to other destinations inside and outside of Venezuela.
Currently, the airline offers regional flights and international flights to Panama, United States and the Caribbean.
However, Venezolana-RAVSA had a turmoil with its reputation in the international market between 2009 and 2011, because of delays and cancellations due to mechanical problems, mismanagement in its operation procedures, and ransacking of passengers' baggage. This eventually brought criticism from passengers and as a response, the airline began re-organization procedures which eventually decreased the passenger complaints rate. Actually, Venezolana is considered as the most economical and successful economical private airlines due to its cheap fares and promotions, in comparison to other air carriers.
Operational issues and 2014 grounding
On 27 February 2012, the Venezuelan Ministry of Transportation suspended indefinitely Venezolana's air operator certificate (AOC) due to unpaid insurance premiums for the fleet, causing disruptions of the airline's domestic and international operations. However, it was reported that the airline paid the premiums and resumed operations the same day.
In January 2014, due to the Venezuelan government's CADIVI currency-exchange administration making delayed payments to domestic and international airlines, Venezolana had problems with its flights due to lack of available aircraft, since all but one of its aircraft were unairworthy due to inability to buy replacement parts. As a consequence, the National Institute of Civil Aviation decided to again ground the airline, causing disruptions on domestic and international operations indefinitely.
Since its foundation in 2001, Venezolana flies to the following cities , between regional and international flights (as of December 2007):
- Maracaibo (La Chinita International Airport)
- Caracas (Simón Bolívar International Airport)
- Porlamar (Del Caribe "Santiago Mariño" International Airport)
- Cumaná (Antonio José de Sucre Airport)
- El Vigía (Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso Airport)
- Santa Bárbara (Miguel Urdaneta Fernández Airport)
- Maturín (José Tadeo Monagas International Airport)
- San Antonio del Tachira (Juan Vicente Gomez International Airport)
- Panama City
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Cartagena, Colombia (soon)
- Valledupar, Colombia (soon)
As of January 2014, the Venezolana-RAVSA fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 29.4 years :
|McDonnell Douglas MD-80||2||0||-||172||172|
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