Avianca Costa Rica S.A.
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedOctober 17, 1945; 77 years ago (1945-10-17)
Commenced operationsJune 1, 1946; 77 years ago (1946-06-01)
HubsJuan Santamaría International Airport
Frequent-flyer programLifeMiles
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size2
Parent companyAvianca Group
HeadquartersSan José, Costa Rica
Key people

Avianca Costa Rica S.A., formerly known 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 in October 17, 1945, with the help of Pan American World Airways, and started operations in 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 1998, TACA/LACSA was one of the member airlines comprising the TACA Airlines alliance along with Aviateca of Guatemala, Nica of Nicaragua, Isleña of Honduras, 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 2009, Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and TACA announced their merger plans to be completed in 2010. By 2013, the airlines began operating as a single commercial brand using the Avianca name.[14]


Main article: List of Avianca Costa Rica destinations

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:[15]

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.[16]



A TACA/LACSA Airbus A320-200 at Juan Santamaría International Airport in 2005
An Avianca Costa Rica Airbus A320-200 landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2018

As of May 2023, Avianca Costa Rica operates the following aircraft:[17][18]

Avianca Costa Rica fleet
Aircraft In
Orders Passengers Notes
W Y+ Y Total
Airbus A320-200 1 12 60 108 180
Airbus A320neo 1
Total 2


LACSA operated the following aircraft:[19]

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 [20]
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". 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. ^, May 1, 1965 Cayman Brac Airways system timetable
  9. ^, Dec. 1, 1970 LACSA system timetable
  10. ^ "Avianca Holdings S.A., Welcome to Avianca Holdings S.A."
  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. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  14. ^ "TACA renueva flota para vuelos al Istmo". La Nación (in Spanish). San José. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  15. ^, May 31, 1973 LACSA system timetable
  16. ^[bare URL image file]
  17. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2019): 12.
  18. ^ "Avianca Costa Rica Fleet Details and History". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "LACSA fleet". Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  20. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2018 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2018): 12.
  21. ^ "Airliner speeds off runway at S.F. Airport". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1998-01-11.
  22. ^ "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.


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