Photos of the Week: Sky Belongs to Everyone

Historic Colombian airline Avianca boasts rich history in Americas

By BlueSkyStaff

Published February 16, 2024

Read Time: 2 mins


As most av geeks know, Dutch airline KLM is the oldest existing airline in the world, founded on Oct. 7, 1919.

But how many people know Colombian flag carrier Avianca is the world’s second-oldest airline – tracing its history back to a company called SCADTA that was founded less than two months after KLM?

Headquartered in Bogotá with El Dorado International Airport as its main hub, Avianca now boasts a fleet of more than 130 aircraft — mostly Airbus A320s — and serves 76 destinations in 25 countries across the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe.

The airline flew more than 30 million passengers in 2023 and maintains a reputation as one of the most punctual airlines in the world. In fact, last year aviation analytics firm Cirium named Avianca the “most on-time global airline.”

So it’s a safe bet that this A320 captured by Jonathan Forant taking off from Boston Logan International Airport will arrive at one of its two direct destinations — San Salvador, El Salvador, or Bogotá — right on time.

Many of the cities in Avianca’s network are famed for their beautiful coastlines and beaches, including Rio de Janeiro and the Galapagos Islands.

They probably look a lot like Maho Beach on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. The beach is famed for its proximity to St. Maarten Juliana Princess Airport because arriving planes are so low you can take photos like this one submitted by Ethan Minnich.

Thanks, Jonathan and Ethan!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming — you can click here for submission guidelines.

An Air France Airbus A330-200 comes into land at St. Maarten Princess Juliana Airport. (Photo submitted by Ethan Minnich)

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