Lao Airlines (Lao: ການ ບິນ ລາວ; until March 2004 Lao Aviation ) is the national airline of Laos, based in Vientiane and hub at Vientiane airport.
The airline was founded in 1976 as "Civil Aviation Company ", as the then existing airlines " Royal Air Lao " and " Lao Air Lines ' were merged. Flight operations began with a mixed fleet of Western aircraft, including the Douglas DC- 3 and DC -4, which was acquired by American Airlines, and some helicopters to serve remote areas can.
In 1979 it was renamed the " Lao Aviation ", in March 2004, it received its present name "Lao Airlines". The aircraft was converted in the 1980s to Chinese and Russian products through a greater commitment to the eastern neighbors since 1976. International connections to Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Hanoi were operated by Antonov An-24.
In 1994, the first ATR was placed 42 of Avions de Transport Régional into service in 1995 as replaced by the ATR 72. A second ATR 72 was purchased in 1999, both initially formed the backbone of the Lao fleet, they were supplemented by Harbin Y -7 and Y -12, anflogen remote areas. From 2003 to early 2005, served Airbus A320 on international routes to Bangkok, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Kunming.
2011, two new Airbus A320 -200 are first taken, which were originally intended for Afriqiyah Airways. Beginning of 2013 the fleet was expanded by two more A320.
Lao Airlines operates domestic addition to the capital Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Pakse, Oudomxay, Ban Houayxay, Luang Namtha, and Savannakhet Phonsavan and internationally Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Singapore, Jinghong, Kunming, Incheon and Busan.
As of October 2013, the fleet of Lao Airlines consists of 13 aircraft:
- 4 Airbus A320 -200
- 4 ATR 72-500
- 1 ATR 72-600
- 4 Xi'an MA60
- 2 ATR 72-600
- On October 16, 2013 ATR 72-600 of Lao Airlines crashed on the way from Vientiane to Pakse yet unexplained causes in the Mekong. Of the 44 passengers and five crew members on board were no survivors. At the time of the accident prevailed bad weather conditions. The crashed plane was delivered new to the Company in March 2013.