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The Oldest Airlines in the World That Are Still Flying Today

It might surprise some to learn that the world’s second-oldest airline is actually Colombia’s Avianca. It was founded as SCADTA, or Sociedad Colombo Alemana de Transporte Aéreo and its first flight was from Barranquilla to Puerto Berrio in September 1920. The airline changed its name to Avianca – an acronym of Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia – in 1940 when it merged with another acronymized airline named SACO (Servicio Aéreo Colombiano) and its German backers were forced to divest due to World War II. Avianca now includes subsidiaries in several Latin American countries and merged with the Salvadoran carrier TACA, which itself was founded in 1931, in 2009. The combined airline became a member of the Star Alliance in 2012.