September 28, 2022
Today in Aviation: Transbrasil is Founded
Today in Aviation

Today in Aviation: Transbrasil is Founded

MIAMI – Today in Aviation, The now-defunct Concórdia Airport (CCI)-based Brazilian airline Transbrasil (TR) was founded in 1955.

The airline was created by entrepreneur Omar Fontana as a sister company of S/A Indústria e Comércio Concórdia or Sadia for short. Using a Douglas DC-3, Sadia (QD) took to the skies for the first time on March 16, 1956.

The airline helped develop CCI as its route network expanded. In 1957 QD established a partnership with Real Transportes Aéreos, which lasted until the latter’s demise in 1961.

A year later, QD purchased TASSA – Transportes Aéreos Salvador and introduced the Handley Page Dart Herald to its fleet. It joined the jet age on September 17, 1970, when it introduced the BAC One-Eleven into service.

The Boeing 727 formed the backbone of the fleet in the early days. The airline would operate 22 of the -100 series seen here. (Photo: Christian Volpati (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons)

Fleet Renewal

In 1972 Sadia became Transbrasil S/A Lineas Aereas. From here, the airline embarked on a fleet renewal program. The Heralds, One-Elevens, and Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirantes were replaced by the Boeing 727-100.

Meanwhile, the Boeing 767 was introduced in 1983 to commence international charter and later scheduled flights. The airline’s route map would stretch across South America and the United States and as far as Austria, the United Kingdom, and Portugal.

Transbrasil operated both the Boeing 737-300 and larger -400 series pictured here. (Photo: Torsten Maiwald (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons)

TR would grow to become the second-largest carrier in Brazil after Varig (RG). However, the emergence of new airlines such as Gol (G3) and TAM Linhas Aéreas (KK) hurt the airline’s financial position.

On December 3, 2001, its fleet was grounded. Two years later, the carrier was finally declared bankrupt.

Featured image: Transbrasil would operate nine Boeing 767-200ERs between 1983 and the airline’s demise in 2001. (Photo: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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