Venezuelan state-owned airline created under Hugo Chavéz in 2004 to take the place of the bankrupt Viasa, Conviasa will resume its transatlantic flights in the coming weeks. The destination chosen by the company is Moscow, the capital of Russia. According to information released by the country’s civil aviation agency, the Venezuelan airline has obtained permission to operate two weekly flights between Simón Bolívar and Domodedovo airports.
The route will be operated with the company’s two Airbus A340s, its only widebodies aircraft and which had not been flying until recently. The company has a leased A340-300 that was originally received by Air China in 1997, so the aircraft has been in use for almost 23 years. The other four-engine jet is even older, an A340-200 that was one of the first to be produced in 1993 and delivered to Air France 27 years ago.
Currently, Conviasa has maintained a network of short and medium-range flights that includes, in addition to domestic flights, destinations mostly to countries politically aligned with the socialist government of Nicolás Maduro such as Managua (Nicaragua), Santa Cruz (Bolivia) and Havana (Cuba). The airline’s main fleet is made up of 16 E190 jets supplied by Embraer brokered by the Brazilian government during the term of former President Dilma Rousseff.
Despite the fact that Russia is now a democratic nation, the government of President Vladimir Putin still maintains ties with several countries that lived under the influence of the former Soviet Union, a supporter of communism. For this reason, even today these left-wing nations end up asking the Russians for help, usually due to embargoes and restrictions imposed by the United States. In 2012, for example, Conviasa was banned from flying in the US and Europe due to security problems and earlier this year, it was again banned from landing in the country ruled by Donald Trump.
In recent years, Conviasa has tried to establish a route between Brazil and destinations in the Venezuelan Caribbean, but without success. At the end of last year, the company announced that it would resume flights to Buenos Aires soon after candidate Alberto Fernandez, from the Justicialista party, won the presidential election.