Sociedade Anônima Empresa de Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense – VARIG was founded in May 1927 by a German immigrant who was also an ex-WW1 pilot. The influence of WW2 and Brazil's eventual allied status put an end to any German involvement but the airline's development progressed well postwar with the addition of DC-3s and C-46s. In 1949 it gained permission to begin international services to the USA, though services did not begin until 2 August 1955 after the delivery of 3 L-1049G Super Constellations. Two years earlier international services to Buenos Aires had begun with C-46s.
REAL (Redes Estaduais Aéreas Limitadas) was formed by two ex-TACA pilots in 1945 starting operations with 3 DC-3s. Several smaller airlines were purchased in the and in 1951 international routes began.
Intra-brasilian competition was fierce during the 1950s but through various acquisitions Varig strengthened its position. By 1956 Varig was Brazil's second largest airline serving 55 cities in Brazil and 4 abroad. The Super Connies (and CV-240s) introduced a new livery which would remain effectively unchanged until 1996. By 1956 Varig was Brazil's second largest airline serving 55 cities in Brazil and 4 abroad. The Super Connies (and CV-240s) introduced a new livery which would remain effectively unchanged until 1996.
Three more L-1049Gs arrived in 1957, all airframes destined originally for Qantas and were registered VDD-F. PP-VDE was originally going to be VH-EAT. The Connie fleet was bolstered in 1961 with the takeover of REAL adding four more L-1049Hs. PP-VDE was withdrawn at Porte-Alegro in October 1963 and broken up in June 1967.
REAL itself was growing in the early 50s and in 1954 Aerovias Brasil was purchased followed by TAN, in 1956, creating a consortium covering all of Brasil. REAL was the dominant airline on the Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte triangle and to compete further with Varig three Super Connies arrived in 1958 to start Rio-New York services. Los Angeles was also begun and in 1960 extended to Honolulu and Tokyo with the entire return flight taking about a week. Expansion weakened the consortium and Varig was able to purchase it in 1961. PP-YSC joined Varig and served until 1969. Sold to the Carolina Aircraft Corp as N565E she was broken up in 1972.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: