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AeroCóndor was a Colombianmarker airline.

History

Airlines from the Republic of Colombia have over many years earned a reputation for exceptional genius in their producing some of the most imaginative and artistic liveries to have graced world civil aviation. Private operator "AEROVIAS CONDOR DE COLOMBIA" was no exception to such psychedelic creativity in respect of its colorful corporate identity throughout its 25 year existence.

Aerocondor Colombia was founded by Gustavo Lopez, Luis Donado, Eduardo Gonzalez, Juan B. Millon, Martin Florez, and Enrique Hanaberg ex Lansa and Avianca pilots in association with two businessman who together perceived an opportunity to establish a new airline flying cargo from Colombia's northern industrial city of Barranquilla throughout the republic. Services commenced during October 1957 using C46 aircraft which were later complimented with DC3's. Progressive expansion saw most of these aircraft later reconfigured for passenger services then DC4 and DC6 aircraft acquired during the early 1960s. International services between Barranquilla and Miami commenced during 1963 and from April 1969 the company began re-equipping with L188 Electra turboprops which replaced its fleet of classic prop liners. Aerocondor entered the jet age during late 1972 upon purchasing an ex American Airlines B720-B. A rare Canadair CC-106 "Yukon" was also acquired for freight services during 1972 and a 2nd ex American Airlines B720-B added to the fleet during 1974. Introduction of these Boeing jetliners modernized the airlines image (by standards of the time) and enabled it to begin operating jet services to Aruba, Curaçao, Guatemala City, Santo Domingo, Panama, and Port-au-Prince whilst also increasing the frequency of its Miami services from Medellin, Bogotá, and Isla de San Andres. During 1975 financial control of Aerocondor passed from the companies foundation management to Jorge Barco Vargas .... formerly an Aerocivil chairman and brother of a former president of the republic. Further expansion during early 1976 saw the airline add 3 ex American Airlines B707-120B's to its fleet. One of these aircraft was converted to a freighter and operated between Medellin and Miami in the lucrative flower export market that exists between Colombia and USA. The airline also then began disposing of its L188 Electra fleet with 2 aircraft being sold to VARIG Brazilian Airlines whilst 3 others were retained for freight services. By this stage Aerocondor had grown to become Colombia's 2nd international airline and was competing against the countries national flag carrier Avianca Colombia. 1977 was a proud year for Aerocondor Colombia as the airline entered the wide-body era when it acquired a factory fresh A300 Airbus .... named "Ciudad de Barranquilla" in honor of the companies port of origin. This was the first aircraft of the type to be operated within the Latin American region and entered service on highly competitive routes to Miami. Plans for the introduction of a 2nd A300 failed to materialize due to fiscal underachievement under the airlines new management. Aerocondor was again sold during 1979 to the Cotes and Calderon brothers and shortly afterward the already financially stripped carrier entered a period of major crisis .... a situation imposed more by poor control and internal corruption by later management regimes rather than market forces alone. The airlines A300 was promptly returned to its lessors and during May 1980 the company entered bankruptcy and ceased operations. Hope remained that services would be reinstated but negotiations between the pilots, liquidators, and the Colombian government all failed to see the company resurrected. The airlines fleet of B707's and B720's remained grounded and were eventually stricken from the Colombian civil air register as the colorful identity of Aerocondor Colombia receded forever into world civil aviation history.

Fleet

Aircraft used throughout the years were:



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