Over the coming months we’ll take a look at some of the darker airlines and where and why they fly where they do.
Conviasa is a Venezuelan airline. Venezuela is a near bankrupt ultra-socialist basket case with a military backed dictatorship that’s propped up by Russian and Cuban ‘advisors’. Nothing seems to be able to displace the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, even as his people flee over its borders and starve if they can’t. Medicines have long ceased to be generally available as the country has no money, driven to bankruptcy by its government.
So why is Conviassa announcing a new route from Caracas to Damascus the capital of Syrian dictator Bashr Al Asad who is propped up by Russia and even more worrying, Iran?
Both regimes have much in common. Both are pariah states, both have used every trick in the book to stay in power regardless of the consequences to their country or their people.
It would be more than interesting to find out who the passengers on these flights are, but we can safely assume they’re not the types of people you’d be happy about.
These flights last ran in 2012 and from March begin again once a week. They’ll be using an A340-211 again, a rare enough type as it is, with a tiny handful still operating. One of Airbus’ least successful aircraft it was so inefficient Cathay Pacific cancelled its order and handed the ones it had back to Airbus for a refund.
Now this aircraft, the only long haul they have, had been in storage for several years because of parts problems – which it seems have been overcome with help from Iran and other sources.
The airlines 737 and A319 are both allocated to the Venezuelan government as is one of the 16 E190’s. Most rarely fly.
Airlines in Venezuela are pretty much grounded – despite its vast oil resources the country is close to zero production as it needs foreign oil – mostly it came from the US – to mix with its heavy sulphur oil to make it useable.
All this once again begs the question why these two countries need an air link when their only common link is oppression and mass murder of their own people.
Sometimes aviation has its darker side.