The airline began to expand in the 1950s with the acquisition of TACA de Honduras in 1953 followed by the regional operator ANSHA in 1957. The primary equipment remained DC-3s and civilianised C-47s and the airline would continue to operate the type into the 1990s! It wasn't until the 1960s that more modern equipment began to arrive though even this was only in the form of a pair of DC-6s and HR-SAP - a single ex-Swissair CV-440 bought in 1966. Worse one of the DC-6s (HR-SAG) was written off less than a month after its purchase when it overran the runway at Tegucigalpa!
The two airlines route networks covered a range of domestic services (still using DC-3s) as well as international routes to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and of course the flagship routes to New Orleans and Miami in the USA. Fleet growth throughout the 1970s was minimal however the single 737 was joined by a pair of ex-All Nippon and Hapag Lloyd 727-100s in 1981. One of the 727s was returned to Hapag Lloyd in 1984 and the two remaining jets formed the core of the fleet throughout the 1980s. In 1987 a second 737-200 arrived.
It appears a mixture of corruption and a poor safety record were the airline's major issues. In fact the airline had picked up the unflattering moniker that SAHSA stood for "Stay At Home Stay Alive"! Its first 737 HR-SHA was written off in a landing accident at San Jose-Juan Santamaria airport in November 1991. All services were suddenly terminated on January 15, 1994 and the majority taken over by its co-owner the TACA group.
Timetables courtesy of the excellent http://www.timetableimages.com
Hengi, B I. Airlines Remembered
Magnusson, Michael. Latin Glory: Airlines of Latin america
Shaw, Robbie. Boeing 737 Airline Markings 7
Smith, P. R. Boeing 737 Air Portfolios 1
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: