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January 24, 2012

Venezuela Goes on an Airliner Buying Binge

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Etihad A340-500 A6-EHB seen here getting tugged at JFK, wil soon join the fleet of Conviasa

President Hugo Chavez announced on his weekly television show this past Sunday that the Venezuelan government will soon purchase four Airbus A340-500 jets from Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for $60 million each.

Etihad A340-500 A6-EHB seen here getting tugged at JFK, wil soon join the fleet of Conviasa

Etihad A340-500 (A6-EHB), seen here getting tugged at JFK, wil soon join the fleet of Conviasa.(Photo by Mark Hsiung)

He also said that 20 new Embraer E170 aircraft are on the way to the national airline, ConViasa, thanks to Brazilian financing and loosening of U.S. trade restrictions. An embargo had prevented Venezuela from purchasing the made-in-America General Electric engines and Honeywell avionics used on the Embraer jets.

Venezuela had previously explored the purchase of Russian-built Ilyushin Il-96 aircraft for its long-haul missions.

Conviasa’s fleet is made up of 17 aircraft, including four ATR 42s and 72s, nine Boeing 737-200s and -300s, and three Bombardier CRJ-700s. The largest plane in the ConViasa fleet is a single aging Airbus A340-200 (YV1004), originally built for Air France in 1993 and delivered to ConViasa in 2007.

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