DALLAS – Today in Aviation, The now-defunct Concórdia Airport (CCI)-based Brazilian airline Transbrasil (TR) was founded in 1955.
Entrepreneur Omar Fontana created the airline 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.
Transbrasil 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.
QD purchased TASSA – Transportes Aéreos Salvador a year later 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.
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, the United States and as far as Austria, the United Kingdom, and Portugal.
TR would 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 its financial position.
On December 3, 2001, Transbrasil’s 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: Pedro Aragão, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons.