Avianca Costa Rica S.A.
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedOctober 17, 1945; 78 years ago (1945-10-17) (as LACSA)
Commenced operationsJune 1, 1946; 78 years ago (1946-06-01)
HubsJuan Santamaría International Airport
Frequent-flyer programLifeMiles
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size4
Parent companyAvianca Group
HeadquartersSan José, Costa Rica
Key people
  • Frederico Pedreira (CEO of Avianca Group)
  • David Aleman (Director)

Avianca Costa Rica S.A., using callsign as LACSA (Spanish: Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A.), minority owned by the Synergy Group, is the national airline of Costa Rica and is based in San José. It operates international scheduled services to over 35 destinations in Central, North and South America.[1][2][3] The airline previously used the TACA/LACSA moniker when it was a subsidiary of Grupo TACA. Since May 2013, following Avianca's purchase of Grupo TACA, Avianca Costa Rica became one of seven nationally branded airlines (Avianca Ecuador, Avianca El Salvador, etc.) operated by Avianca Group of Latin American airlines.


A postage stamp issued to commemorate LACSA’s 20th anniversary

LACSA was formed on October 17, 1945, with the help of Pan American World Airways, and started operations on June 1, 1946, using Douglas DC-3s for local services within Costa Rica,[4] operating as an affiliate of Pan Am.[5] The airline was designated as Costa Rica's Flag carrier in 1949[4] and was nationalized in 1958.[6]

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 BAC One-Eleven twin-engined jet airliners onto their Caribbean passenger route network in April 1967.[7]

The airline also operated a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac Airways (CBA) Ltd.,[8] which it sold a 51% controlling interest in the late 1960s to the Cayman Islands government, which in turn used the air carrier to form Cayman Airways. LACSA served Grand Cayman for many years as an intermediate stop on its services between San José, Costa Rica and Miami.[9]

Beginning in 1998, TACA/LACSA was one of the member airlines comprising the TACA Airlines alliance along with Aviateca, Nica, Isleña Airlines, and five other regional airlines.[10][11] In 2008, a new fleet of Embraer 190 jets was introduced.[12] Also in 2008 a new TACA logo was introduced,[13] followed by a new fleet of Embraer 190 airplanes registered in Costa Rica and operated under the LACSA code. In October 2009, Avianca and TACA announced their merger plans to be completed in 2010. By May 28, 2013, the airlines began operating as a single commercial brand using the Avianca name.[14]


Avianca Costa Rica serves the following destinations:

Country City Airport Notes Refs
Argentina Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport [15]
Brazil Brasilia Brasília International Airport Terminated
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport Terminated
Chile Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport Terminated
Colombia Bogotá El Dorado International Airport
Cartagena Rafael Núñez International Airport [16]
Medellín José María Córdova International Airport [16]
Costa Rica San José Juan Santamaría International Airport Hub
Cuba Havana José Martí International Airport Terminated [17]
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Las Américas International Airport Terminated
Ecuador Guayaquil José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport Terminated
Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport [16]
El Salvador San Salvador El Salvador International Airport
Guatemala Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport
Honduras San Pedro Sula Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport Seasonal [18]
Mexico Cancún Cancún International Airport
Mexico City Mexico City International Airport [19]
Nicaragua Managua Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Panama Panama City Tocumen International Airport
Peru Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport
Puerto Rico San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport Terminated
United States Chicago O'Hare International Airport Seasonal [18]
Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport
Miami Miami International Airport
New York City John F. Kennedy International Airport
Orlando Orlando International Airport Terminated
Washington, D.C. Dulles International Airport [20]
Venezuela Caracas Simón Bolívar International Airport Terminated [21]

LACSA international destinations in 1973

LACSA Douglas DC-6B freighter at Miami International Airport in 1971
LACSA BAC One-Eleven taxiing at Miami International Airport in 1971
Classic LACSA livery of the 1990s, shown on an Airbus A320

According to the May 31, 1973 LACSA system timetable, the airline was serving the following international destinations:[22]

This same timetable states that all international flights were being operated with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin jets at this time with the exception of the San José-San Andres Island route which was being flown with a Convair 440 propliner.

International routes in 1984

The airline was operating to such international destinations in 1984 as:

These cities were flown to using LACSA’s Boeing 727.[23]



A TACA/LACSA Airbus A320-200 at Juan Santamaría International Airport in 2005. This aircraft would have crashed as Flight 390 in 2008.
An Avianca Costa Rica Airbus A320-200 landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2018

As of June 2024, Avianca Costa Rica operates the following aircraft:[24][25]

Avianca Costa Rica fleet
Aircraft In
Orders Passengers Notes
W Y+ Y Total
Airbus A320-200 1 12 60 108 180
Airbus A320neo 3
Total 4


LACSA operated the following aircraft:[26]

Avianca Costa Rica former fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Airbus A319-100 3 2007 2022
Airbus A321-200 2 2009 2021
BAC One-Eleven 6 1967 1982
Beechcraft 18 1 1965 1976
Boeing 707-320C 1 1985 1986 Leased from Jet 24
Boeing 727-100 3 1987 1992
Boeing 727-200 5 1979 1994
Boeing 737-200 8 1992 2004
CASA C-212 Aviocar 1 1993 1995
Convair CV-340 3 1955 1962
Convair CV-440 2 1972 1977
Curtiss C-46 Commando 6 1948 1979
Douglas C-47 Skytrain 6 1945 1961
Douglas DC-3 2 1946 1959
Douglas DC-6B 2 1960 1977
Douglas DC-8-21F 1 1981 1982 Leased from General Air Services Inc.
Douglas DC-8-55CF 3 1982 1991
Douglas DC-8-62F 1 1986 1987 Leased from Jet 24
Embraer 190AR 4 2008 2012 [27]
Lockheed L-188CF Electra 3 1976 1981

Accidents and incidents

See also



  1. ^ "Our History". Grupo TACA. Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  2. ^ "LACSA Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses – Details and Fleet History". Archived from the original on 2022-04-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  3. ^ "LACSA". Retrieved 2010-10-21.
  4. ^ a b Endres 1979, p.362
  5. ^ Bridgman 1951, p. 22b
  6. ^ Bridgman 1958, p. 20
  7. ^ Eastwood & Roach, 2004, p. 170
  8. ^ "Cayman Brac Airways - CBA Airways". Retrieved 2024-03-01.
  9. ^ "Avianca Costa Rica - LACSA - Lineas Aereas Costarricenses". Retrieved 2024-03-01.
  10. ^ "Avianca Holdings S.A., Welcome to Avianca Holdings S.A." Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  11. ^ Rohter, Larry (1998-04-15). "A Home-Grown Giant Of Central America". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  13. ^ "Taca lanza nueva imagen y servicios". La Nación (in Spanish). San José. 2008-09-25. Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  14. ^ "TACA renueva flota para vuelos al Istmo". La Nación (in Spanish). San José. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  15. ^ "Avianca inaugurates flights between San José, Quito and Buenos Aires". 31 October 2022. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  16. ^ a b c The Tico Times. "Avianca adds 3 New flights from Costa Rica to South America". Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  17. ^ "Avianca dejará de volar a Cuba el próximo 15 de enero" (in Spanish). Asere. 22 November 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Avianca Costa Rica Resumes 2 US Routes From Dec 2023". Retrieved September 13, 2023.
  19. ^ "Avianca conectará San José y Ciudad de México sin escalas a partir de diciembre". LaRepú (in Spanish). September 2021. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  20. ^ "Avianca launches new nonstop flights from D.C. to Costa Rica". 18 July 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  21. ^ "Avianca suspenderá sus vuelos sin escalas entre San José y Caracas". (in Spanish). February 17, 2024.
  22. ^ "Avianca Costa Rica - LACSA - Lineas Aereas Costarricenses". Retrieved 2024-03-01.
  23. ^ Avianca Costa Rica - LACSA - Lineas Aereas Costarricenses (in Spanish). October 28, 1984.
  24. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2019): 12.
  25. ^ "Avianca Costa Rica Fleet Details and History". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "LACSA fleet". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  27. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2018 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2018): 12.
  28. ^ "Airliner speeds off runway at S.F. Airport". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1998-01-11.
  29. ^ "Airplane gets stuck in mud after veering off San Francisco runway at full speed". January 11, 1998. Archived from the original on 2011-08-05. Retrieved 2009-05-17.


Media related to Avianca Costa Rica at Wikimedia Commons