MIAMI – Today in Aviation, the Compañía Aeronáutica Uruguaya S. A. (CAUSA), a private Uruguayan airline, was founded in 1936. The airline operated between 1938 and 1967. Its base of operations was Carrasco International Airport (MVD).
CAUSA was founded by Uruguayan banker and writer Jules Supervielle and Colonel Tydeo Larre Borges. The airline’s objective was to establish operations on the profitable and interesting route between Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Operations began on March 12, 1938, using two German Junkers Ju 52//3m seaplanes purchased new for US$150,000.
The planes arrived from Brazil, where they had been assembled after their arrival from Germany by sea. These aircraft, of very solid construction and mechanically reliable, were already massively used by the Lufthansa and the Luftwaffe and were by then being used in the war scene of the Spanish Civil War by the Condor Legion.
The Junkers in service with CAUSA were the CX-ABA (C/N 5877) christened “El Uruguayo” and the CX-ABB (C/N 5886), “El Argentino”. The airline entered from that moment on in competition with the Argentine airline Corporación Sudamericana de Servicios Aéreos, which also offered passenger service with seaplanes between the two capitals of the Rio de la Plata.
Post-war Aircraft, Operations
At the end of World War II, CAUSA entered into competition with the Argentine airline ALFA, the forerunner of Aerolineas Argentinas, and decided to purchase two modified Short Sunderland seaplanes. The seaplane services continued to be very popular with passengers and so a third Sunderland was purchased in 1946.
By 1961, seaplanes began to fall out of favor with the public. Seaplane service was finally discontinued in May 1962. At that time, CAUSA decided to change its business strategy, concentrating on conventional aircraft operations to replace seaplanes.
To this end, four Curtiss C-46 Commando aircraft were acquired. These aircraft acquired in 1961 were the C-46F CX-AYR c/n 22403, C-46A CX-AZS c/n 30393 (ex-Real Aerovias Brasil), C-46F CX-BAH c/n 22531, and C-46F CX-BAM c/n 22392.
The service of the Curtiss with CAUSA was very brief and by 1964, all these aircraft were sold to ARCO Aerolineas Colonia. Instead, it was decided in 1962 to purchase three Lockheed Constellation type L-749A-79-33 aircraft from KLM. Two of the Constellations were delivered to CAUSA in 1962 and the third arrived in 1963.
Constellations remained in service until the airline ceased operations in May 1967, these abandoned, immobilized, and deteriorating aircraft, a product of the passing years, were a familiar and sad sight in a corner of MVD in the late 1960s and mid-1970s.
Featured image: Lockheed L-749A Constellation of CAUSA Uruguay at Montevideo Carrasco in 1975. Photo: De RuthAS – Trabajo propio, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25753165. Article sources: Airlines of Latin America, R.E.G. Davies, Smithsonian Institution Press , Washington D.C., 1984; República Oriental del Uruguay.Fuerza Aérea (Setenta y cinco aniversario 1913-1988),Imprenta del Ejército Depósito Legal No.232.479; Memorias de Aeroplanos, Alberto Máquez Vaeza, Montevideo, 1989.