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TACA: Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano Avianca El Salvador, formerly known as Transportes Aereos del Continente Americano (TACA), was founded in 1931 in Honduras by New Zealand businessman and military veteran Lowell Yerex (1895-1968). Flight operations included the use of single-engine Stinson planes and larger piston engine aircraft like the Douglas DC-3 in the company’s first two decades. Expansion into the Americas in the 1960s prompted the use of turboprop airliners and jet aircraft, and freight shipments to Miami were added to service offerings by the end of the 1970s.
Because of the ongoing civil war in El Salvador, TACA was owned by a U.S. company until 1980 and was headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana. Minority shareholders eventually purchased all remaining company shares, regaining national control of the airline and making upgrades to its own aircraft fleet and the aircraft of acquired flag carriers AVIATECA (Guatemala), Lacsa (Costa Rica), and NICA (Nicaragua). Today, the airline operates in six continents and over 100 destinations (including Brisbane, Lima, and New York) using late-model aircraft models like Boeing 787 and Airbus A380. As a result of the 2013 merger with Colombia-based Avianca Airlines, most of the currently-manufactured Airbus and Boeing models were added and the airline now has a partnership with the 27 carriers in the Star Alliance network.
Airline Services Available to Passengers Domestic and international passenger flights with numerous fare options and payment methods in both business and economy classes are available. Trip planning via online, mobile app, or in person includes:
- Baggage handling and fees – The first 1 to 2 pieces of luggage are free to passengers. Additional, overweight, and oversized luggage pieces are subject to fees starting at $20USD per piece
- Special services – Meal requirements, passengers with disabilities, etc.
- Travel services – Corporate and group accommodations, vacation packages
- Frequent flyer program – Through LifeMiles, a multi-tiered program centered on flight activity
- Travel insurance and trip coverage
- Class and seat upgrades
Pre-flight services available include real-time updates, online check-in, VIP lounge access, and empty-seat options (addiotnal fee allows passengers to block the adjacent empty seat for more space). In-flight services for passengers include:
- Manual and remote control monitors and audio accessories for access to a large selection of TV, movie, and music channels of every genre
- Reading material comprised of the airline’s monthly publication, Avianca en Revista, and other popular publications
- Access to the airline’s Duty-Free store, allowing passengers to purchase consumer goods tax-free directly from their seats