A replacement for the bankrupt Viasa as the Venezuelan flag carrier, Conviasa last week announced plans to expand its long-haul network. In an announcement made by the company’s president, Ramón Velásquez Araguayán (and who also holds the position of deputy minister of air transport for the ‘Ministry of Popular Power for Transport’), Conviasa is due to start a flight between Caracas, Moscow and Tehran in December.

To meet the demand, the company is about to receive another four-engine A340-300, which will join the other two Airbus models in its fleet. “It was possible to buy an Airbus A340-300 aircraft, which we have already paid for, and it should arrive in the third or fourth week of November,” Araguayán told the Venezuelan press.

In addition, the president of Conviasa revealed his intention to acquire three A340-500, a variant with greater range and capacity of the Airbus jet, in order to allow the expansion of international flights to countries such as Portugal, Italy and China.

Fleet of E190 jets

Because of the US embargo and Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship relations with Russia and Iran, Conviasa has a tortuous operation and is subject to overflying restrictions in several countries.

The company has made some flights to Tehran that would involve exchanging gold and drugs for weapons, according to the US government.

Conviasa receives 16 E190 jets from Embraer (Wilfredorrh/CC)

Its aircraft fleet has 16 E190 jets purchased from Embraer during the government of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff whose party supports the Bolivarian regime. The choice of A340s to support international flights is due to the high offer of these aircraft, which lost demand in the market due to high fuel consumption.

With a large oil producer, Venezuela certainly has no problem supplying Airbus four engines.