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An Avianca A320 in Miami (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Avianca Celebrates 100 Years of Flying

Avianca is celebrating 100 years of service as Latin America’s longest operating airline. Avianca is currently the second oldest airline in the world with uninterrupted operations, coming a close second by less than two months after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which also celebrated 100 years of service this past October.

To commemorate the occasion, the airline in September revealed a special-liveried Airbus A320 painted in the classic 1940 livery with a special “100 Anos” logo celebrating its 100th anniversary. The A320 is the backbone of the airline’s medium-haul fleet, with over 40 currently in service.

Avianca’s 100-year anniversary retrojet in Barranquilla, Colombia. (Photo: Avianca)

The carrier has also been marking the occasion by conducting events at the place it was born, including flying the retro-painted A320 on its first route between the cities where its history began, Barranquilla and Bogotá. At the airline’s base in Bogotá, Avianca celebrated in its hangar streaming the festivities with employees from all of its cities.

Founded on Dec. 5, 1919, Avianca was first founded as Colombo-German Air Transport Society (SCADTA) to provide cross-country services which were originally conducted on riverboat via the Amazon’s tributaries. The airline merged with Servicio Aéreo Colombiano (SACO) on June 14, 1940, to form today’s Avianca.

In its history, the airline has flown unique aircraft such as Boeing 707s in the 1960s and was the first Latin American airline to acquire a unit of the iconic Boeing 747 “Queen of the Skies.” The airline has overcome competition from various local start-ups and further trouble caused by the Colombian narcotics trade during the 1980s.

Today. the Bogotá-based airline headquartered at El Dorado International Airport is one of the most successful in the Americas and boasts a fleet size of 106 aircraft. Avianca continues to serve 114 destinations in 27 countries with its young fleet.


  • Albert Kuan

    Most people hate long flights or overnight layovers, but Albert loves them. The airport and flying parts of traveling are the biggest highlights of any trip for him – as this avgeek always gets a thrill from sampling different airline cabin products and checking out regional developments happening at local U.S. airports. He’s flown on almost every major carrier in the U.S. and Asia Pacific, and he hopes to try out the new A350s soon. Albert recently completed his undergraduate studies in Business Accounting at USC in Los Angeles and he is currently recruiting for a corporate analyst position at one of the U.S. legacy carriers. During his college years, he interned at LAX for Los Angeles World Airports working behind-the-scenes (and on the ramp) in public relations and accounting. Outside of writing for AirlineGeeks, he enjoys trekking the Hollywood hills, visiting new hotspots throughout SoCal, and doing the occasional weekender on Spirit Airlines.

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