LANICA

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LANICA
Lanica logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
NI [1]   LANICA [2]
Founded June 1945
Commenced operations 1946
Ceased operations 1981
Hubs Augusto C. Sandino International Airport
Headquarters Managua, Nicaragua

Líneas Aéreas de Nicaragua, operating as LANICA, was an airline from Nicaragua. Headquartered in the capital Managua, it operated scheduled passenger flights within South and Central America, as well as to the United States.

History

LANICA Douglas DC-6B at Miami International Airport in October 1970
BAC 1-11 of LANICA at Miami in October 1970
Convair 880 of LANICA operating a scheduled passenger service to Miami in December 1973

The carrier was founded in June 1945 as a subsidiary of Pan American Airways, with this airline initially holding 40% of the company. Domestic services began in 1946 with Boeing 247 equipment.[3] The company bought the assets of a local airline called Flota Aérea Nicaragüense (FANSA) in 1950, acquiring the control of the lucrative routes to the mining towns of Bonanza and Siuna in the north.[citation needed]

By March 1953, the carrier's route network was 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long.[4] At March 1955, the fleet comprised seven DC-3s and one Navion that operated local routes;[5] that year, the airline carried 21,852 passengers.[6]

LANICA's fleet in April 1965 was composed of one DC-3, one DC-4, one DC-6, and four C-46s, with the DC-6 flying to Miami and San Salvador.[7]

In early 1966, the carrier ordered a BAC One-Eleven 400.[8] Pending delivery of this new aircraft, another BAC One-Eleven, leased from Aer Lingus, was deployed on the Managua–Salvador–Miami sector in November 1966.[9] Starting 19 October 1967,[10] LANICA's own BAC One-Eleven was operated on a joint-ownership basis with TAN Airlines.[11] The last BAC 1-11 was disposed of in October 1972.[12]

Starting in May 1972, LANICA operated four examples of the larger four-engined Convair 880 jet airliner on their scheduled passenger services to Miami. The last was disposed of in 1977.[13]

Pan Am's participation in the airline had decreased to 10% by 1975; private investors held 85% of the company until July 1972, when Howard Hughes took control of 25% of it, through Hughes Tool Company, in exchange for the lease of two Convair 880s. By March 1975, LANICA's fleet consisted of two Convair 880s, three C-46s and four DC-6s that served a route network including domestic services, as well as international passenger and cargo services to Mexico City, Miami and San Salvador.[14] Two more Convair 880s were acquired in 1977.[15]

The government of Somoza was overthrown following the rise to power of the Sandinistas in 1979.[16][17] The shares held by the Somoza family —the major stockholders at the time— were seized by the Junta of National Reconstruction,[17] but the airline's debts were not absorbed by the new government.[18] LANICA was declared bankrupt by a Nicaraguan court in March 1981,[18][19] ceasing all operations on 31 August 1981.[20] At May that year, the airline had a fleet of two Boeing 727-100s, three C-46s and one DC-6, and employed a 450-strong staff.[21] LANICA was succeeded by Aeronica as Nicaragua's flag carrier.[22]

Destinations

LANICA offered scheduled international passenger flights to the following destinations:[23]

Argentina
Chile
Costa Rica
Honduras
Ecuador
Guatemala
México
Panamá
Perú
United States
Uruguay

Fleet

Over the years of its existence, LANICA operated the following aircraft types:[24]

 
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Convair 880    
Boeing 727    
BAC One-Eleven    
Vickers Viscount 742-D    
Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando    
Douglas DC-3    
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