(Photo Credit: BravoAlpha)
Today, I present VARIG as a livery request for the 737-700. VARIG (the first national airline of Brazil) was founded in 1927 by German aviator Otto Ernst Meyer-Labastille, and was, at one time, a sister-company to Condor. After immigrating to South America, Meyer-Labastille recognized the need for air transportation, and the rest is history.
The 1960s were a time of great expansion for VARIG, becoming the largest airline in South America. This period of success continued into the 1990s with a new corporate image, the first since 1955. VARIG became the sixth member of Star Alliance in 1997.
By the early 2000s, VARIG found itself in financial trouble, losing market share to both TAM and upstart GOL. Falling to third place in the Brazilian domestic market, VARIG filed for bankruptcy in 2005. A “new” VARIG emerged from this, but with a much-reduced fleet and route network. Cargo operations were separated into VARIG Logistics.
By 2006, VARIG had canceled all flights, except for daily shuttle service between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In 2007, GOL purchased VARIG for US $320 million. Rebranding of the airline began shorty after, and by 2009, all operations had been fully integrated.
A long-time operator of the Boeing 737, VARIG has featured the -200, -300, -400, -500, -700 and -800 variants in its fleet. In 1997, VARIG became the first airline in South America to operate the 737-700. The aircraft pictured is painted in VARIG’s final livery. At that time, 10 -700s remained, flying until the airline ceased operations in 2006.
I did search before posting, and found a request for the -800. Having the VARIG livery in IF would not only further expand Global operations in South America, but also pay tribute to a once proud airline. Vote if you would like to see this beautiful livery added to the 737-700, and the skies of Infinite Flight.