|Hubs||Viru Viru Int'l Airport|
|Focus cities||Jorge Wilstermann International Airport|
|Frequent flyer program||Líder Club|
|Member lounge||Elite CLAB|
|Headquarters||Jorge Wilstermann Airport
|Key people||Marcelo Goldmann (CEO)|
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB Airlines) was the most important national airline of Bolivia until 2007 when it was forced to discontinue flights due to financial difficulties. Then in 2009 LAB finally could restart operations with a commercial alliance with Aerosur. The former airline,have too an aircraft maintenance service provider, is based in Cochabamba. LAB operate passenger and cargo services within Bolivia and to international destinations. Its main base is Jorge Wilstermann International Airport, Cochabamba. The company's headquarters were on the grounds of Jorge Wilstermann Airport in Cochabamba. When the company started, its board of directors was located in La Paz and its management office was in Cochabamba.
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano was established on September 15, 1925, when it was founded in Cochabamba by Guillermo Kyllman. The airline's name was Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano S.A.. The name was chosen after Lloyd's of London for its image of safety and security (though the two firms are not related). The airline's first airplane, a Junkers F-13, came as a present from the German community in Bolivia. It started operations on 23 September 1925.
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano first flew internationally in July 1930, with planes used by Brazilian airline Syndicato Condor Ltda., between Corumbá, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano used their own plane on the route from La Paz to Corumbá and Condor their own from Corumbá to Rio de Janeiro with the planes meeting in Corumbá. With this, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano and Syndicato Condor Ltda. established a commercial agreement. Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, which was South America's second commercial airline, after Colombia's Avianca, soon increased their flights to the Brazilian destinations, and their fleet began to grow too. During 1932, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano had to lend its planes and personnel to the Bolivian government, to help during the Chaco War (Guerra Del Chaco) with Paraguay.
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano had to be reorganized and was nationalized on 14 May 1941 by the government, and it began a period of growth by means of expansion, new airplanes and destinations. In 1950, the airline was awarded with the Condor de los Andes decoration, given to Bolivian companies by the government.
In 1969, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano joined the jet age, acquiring their first Boeing 727. With jets, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano was allowed to fly to more markets in Central America, to the United States and to Spain.
But in 1994, Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano ran into economic trouble, and the government started looking for potential buyers as a general privitization trend. Ultimately, they opened the sale to international buyers, and on October 19, 1995, VASP, a Brazilian airline, bought 50% of the company. Subsequently the fleet was painted to resemble that of VASP's, and it introduced a frequent flyer program. But LAB continued to have economic difficulties, and VASP sold its shares of Lloyd back to Bolivian investors in 2001.
In 2004 due to a debt that Ecuatoriana de Aviación owed LAB, Lloyd got 50% of Ecuatoriana and operated some of its routes under shared codes. By May 2006, the airline was flying with limited capacity due to its constrained financial situation. The Boeing 767s had to be returned to the leasing company due to lack of payment, because of the new fleet were on leasing. LAB then served Madrid using some L-1011-500 wet-leased from Globe Jet Airlines, and wet-leased other Boeing 757 from North American Airlines because its Boeing 757 were returned to the leasing company, to provide service to Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida, the same happens with the Airbus A-310. A LAB Boeing 727 aircraft was used for daily charter flights from Miami to Havana and Camaguey, Cuba and one bi-weekly from New York.
On 30 March 2007, service was suspended by the Bolivian government due to financial problems. The airline was prohibited from selling tickets and operating any scheduled flights until further notice, and all operations were stopped on April 1, 2007.
The search for financial backers and appropriate restructuring continued, with much speculation that the Bolivian government would once more take the company over. On 23 December 2007, Lloyd took to the skies again with two of its Boeing 727s (CP-1367 & 2429) operating charter flights. As of mid-January 2008, the airline is still awaiting the renewal of its commercial licence, but in the meantime is restoring another four of its aircraft to airworthy conditions, with the aim of resuming limited domestic services in 2008. In January, 2009, LAB, with its commercial license, start to do commercial flights in the national destinations and in the last months of 2009 they will return to its international destinations with Boeing 767 and Boeing 737-300. They have more interesting plans for the future.
The Bolivian government has since announced the creation of a new airline, Boliviana de Aviacion, to try to replace Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano. On the 1st of July Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) joined with Aerosur to now have flights with domestic and international flights.
The Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano fleet includes the following aircraft (at January 2010) :
Of its 5 aircraft, four are stored at the airline's base at Cochabamba (CP-1276, 1367, 2324, 2455) while the sole active aircraft (CP-1366) after being wet-leased from July-August 2009 to rival carrier AeroSur, has been wet-leased since September 2009 to military airline TAM.
Retirements in recent years have included an Airbus A310-300, three Boeing 727-100s, two Boeing 727-200s, a Boeing 727-200 Freighter, a Boeing 737-300, and a Fokker F27-200 Friendship. A good half-dozen Boeing 727-200s are parked at Cochabamba, awaiting spares and funds to fly again. The sole remaining Boeing 737-300 is undergoing maintenance in São Paulo, Brazil. Long-haul routes within the Americas such as Miami, Mexico City and Havana (via Panama) and Washington, D.C. (via Miami), are all operated by Boeing 727-200s, and 767-300ERs, the latter equipped with winglets so as to reduce fuel-burn. The single Boeing 727-100 (CP-861) covered most of Bolivia's domestic routes—up to 16 flights a day—right up until March 5, 2007. She was retired that evening after 37 years of faithful and uninterrupted service with the same carrier, having historically been the most problem-free aircraft of the fleet. No other jetliner has served one airline for so long.
Source: Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano