Avianca Costa Rica, formerly known as LACSA (Spanish: Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses S.A.), minority owned by the Synergy Group, is the national airline of Costa Rica and is based in San José. It operates international scheduled services to over 35 destinations in Central, North and South America.[1][2][3] The airline previously used the TACA/LACSA moniker when it was a subsidiary of Grupo TACA. Since May 2013, following Avianca's purchase of Grupo TACA, Avianca Costa Rica became one of seven nationally branded airlines (Avianca Ecuador, Avianca Honduras, etc.) operated by Avianca Holdings group of Latin American airlines.


LACSA Douglas DC-6B freighter at Miami International Airport in 1971

LACSA was established on 17 October 1945 by Pan American World Airways, the Costa Rican government and Costa Rican private interests. It started operations on 1 June 1946 and was designated the national carrier in 1949. Its domestic network was transferred to its wholly owned subsidiary Sansa in September 1959.

LACSA BAC One-Eleven at Miami in 1971

LACSA operated the Douglas DC-6B four-engined piston airliner from 1960 until 1976 on their regular passenger, and eventually freight, scheduled flights to Miami International Airport. The airline introduced the first of their British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin-engined jet airliners onto their Caribbean passenger route network in April 1967.[4]

The airline also operated a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac Airways (CBA) Ltd.,[5] which it sold a 51% controlling interest in the late 1960s to the Cayman Islands government which in turn used the air carrier to form Cayman Airways. LACSA served Grand Cayman for many years as an intermediate stop on its services between San José, Costa Rica and Miami.[6]

Beginning 1998, TACA/LACSA was one of the member airlines comprising the TACA Airlines alliance along with Aviateca of Guatemala, Nica of Nicaragua, Isleña of Honduras, and five other regional airlines.[7][8] In 2008 a new TACA logo was introduced,[9] followed by a new fleet of Embraer 190 airplanes registered in Costa Rica and operated under the LACSA code. In 2009, Aerovías del Continente Americano S.A. (Avianca) and TACA announced their merger plans to be completed in 2010. By 2013, the airlines began operating as a single commercial brand using the Avianca name. [10]


Postal stamp issued to commemorate LACSA's 20th anniversary (1946–66).
Future destination
Terminated destination
City Country [1] Airport Via Notes
Buenos Aires Argentina Ministro Pistarini International Airport Terminated
Brasilia Brazil Brasília International Airport Terminated
Rio de Janeiro Brazil Galeao International Airport Terminated
Toronto Canada Toronto-Pearson International Airport Via San Salvador
Santiago Chile Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport Via Lima
Bogotá Colombia El Dorado International Airport
Medellin Colombia José María Córdoba International Airport Terminated
San José de Costa Rica Costa Rica Juan Santamaría International Airport
Havana Cuba Jose Marti International Airport Terminated
Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Las Americas International Airport Terminated
Guayaquil Ecuador Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport Terminated
Quito Ecuador Mariscal Sucre International Airport Via San Salvador
San Salvador El Salvador Cuscatlan International Airport
Guatemala City Guatemala La Aurora International Airport
San Pedro Sula Honduras Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport
Cancun Mexico Cancun International Airport Via San Salvador
Mexico City Mexico Benito Juarez International Airport
Monterrey Mexico General Mariano Escobedo International Airport Terminated
Panama City Panama Tocumen International Airport
Lima Peru Jorge Chávez International Airport
Los Angeles United States Los Angeles International Airport Via Guatemala
Miami United States Miami International Airport Terminated
New York United States John F. Kennedy International Airport Via San Salvador
Orlando United States Orlando International Airport Terminated
Caracas Venezuela Simon Bolivar International Airport Via San Salvador Terminated

LACSA international destinations in 1973

According to the May 31, 1973 LACSA system timetable, the airline was serving the following international destinations:[11]

This same timetable states that all international flights were being operated with British Aircraft Corporation BAC One-Eleven twin jets at this time with the exception of the San José-San Andres Island route which was being flown with a Convair 440 propliner.

International routes in 1984

The airline was operating to such international destinations in 1984 as:

These cities were flown to using Lacsa's Boeing 727 aircraft.[12]


Current Fleet

As of August 2017 the LACSA fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[13]

Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Embraer 190IGW 2
Total 2

LACSA services were previously flown exclusively by Airbus A320 family jetliners drawn from the pooled fleet of the former Grupo TACA.[citation needed] In 2008, a new fleet of Embraer 190 jets was introduced.[14]

Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 4 12 108 120
Airbus A320-200 27 12 138 150
Airbus A321-200 2 12 182 194
Embraer 190 6 8 88 96
Total 39 0

LACSA passenger retired

LACSA cargo retired


On May 23, 1988, a leased Boeing 727-100, registered TI-LRC and operating the route San José-Managua-Miami, collided with a fence at the end of the runway in the Juan Santamaría International Airport, crashed at a nearby field next to a highway, and caught fire. The excess of weight in the front part of the airplane was the cause of the accident. There were no fatalities out of the 23 occupants.[citation needed]

On 11 January 1998, LACSA flight 691,[15] an Airbus A320, veered off a runway at San Francisco International Airport during the takeoff roll. The aircraft left the runway at full speed, coming to rest in a field of mud. The runway was closed after the incident, reducing take-off capacity by 50 percent, leading to massive delays at the airport. None of the 122 passengers on board the aircraft sustained injuries, and stayed at a hotel until another aircraft could transport them to their destination, San José, Costa Rica. The cause of the incident was not determined.[16]


  1. ^ "Our History". Grupo TACA. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  2. ^ "LACSA Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses – Details and Fleet History". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  3. ^ "LACSA". Airfleets.net. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  4. ^ Eastwood & Roach, 2004, p. 170
  5. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, May 1, 1965 Cayman Brac Airways system timetable
  6. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Dec. 1, 1970 LACSA system timetable
  7. ^ http://www.aviancaholdings.com/en/history
  8. ^ Rohter, Larry (1998-04-15). "A Home-Grown Giant Of Central America". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Taca lanza nueva imagen y servicios". La Nación (in Spanish). San José. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  10. ^ "TACA renueva flota para vuelos al Istmo". La Nación (in Spanish). San José. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  11. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, May 31 1973 LACSA system timetable
  12. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com/i-kl/lr8410a.jpg
  13. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 12. 
  14. ^ Delivers First EMBRAER 190 Jet to TACA Airlines
  15. ^ "Airliner speeds off runway at S.F. Airport". The San Francisco Chronicle. 1998-01-11. 
  16. ^ "Airplane gets stuck in mud after veering off San Francisco runway at full speed". CJOnline.com. January 11, 1998. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  • Roach, J (2004). Jet Airliner Production List - Volume 2. The Aviation Hobby Shop. 
  • Hardy, M. J. (October 1969). "Aviation in Costa Rica". Air Pictorial. Vol. 31 no. 10. pp. 362–365. 

External links