PLUNA (short for Primera Línea Aérea Uruguaya de NavegaciÃ ) was an airline based in Montevideo, Uruguay, and based on the Montevideo airport.
The airline was founded in September 1936 by the brothers Jorge and Alberto Márquez Márquez Vasa Vasa, with financial and technical support of the then British Ambassador, Sir Eugene Millington - Drake. The airline flew two de Havilland Dragonfly machines, which could accommodate five passengers. The aircraft had the name Churrinche and San Alberto in honor of the father of the founder. We flew from Montevideo to Salto and after Paysandú. In the first financial year Pluna flew 2,600 passengers, for this time a great success. It also transported 20,000 letters and 70,000 newspapers.
In the 40s PLUNA expanded and flew well, with Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 1947 and international destinations. Shortly thereafter, Sao Paulo and Santa Cruz in Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Rosario and Córdoba were added in Argentina. 1951, the airline was nationalized.
Over the next three decades, slowed the growth of the company. The airline was one of the first to use jet aircraft. PLUNA flew late 70s with the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Miami, Florida. In the 80s began the cities of Madrid, Asunción, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile to fly, but flew no more to New York and Miami. During this time, Punta del Este flourished as a center of tourism, which PLUNA benefited. Also an office in Tel Aviv was opened as Argentina and Uruguay have large Jewish communities.
In the 90s, the airline was in serious financial difficulties and in 1994 sold the government 49% of Varig. 2012 led PLUNA per week 200 flights by Bombardier CRJ900 and sat factory new one. The Boeing formerly employed 737 and Boeing 757 were retired by the end of 2008 and replaced by another new CRJ900.
PLUNA belonged until 11 June 2005 to 48 % by the Uruguayan government, 49 % belonged to VARIG, 2% include Victor Mesa and 1% owned by the employees of the airline. As Varig went bankrupt, the state took back these shares and therefore kept 98%. However, the company still was in the red. In January 2007, began to privatize Pluna. Lead gate, a consortium of Germany, the USA, Argentina and Uruguay, took over the airline. The hitherto for Hajj flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, as well as flights to Madrid pre -preserved Boeing 757, Boeing 737-200, Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 767 -300ER were repelled and it was completely converted to Bombardier machines.
2007, a new livery was introduced, with the Bombardier CRJ900 which have been delivered from the factory.
On 5 July 2012, the Uruguayan government decided to liquidate the financially troubled PLUNA - she put on the same day an operation.
On 7 November 2013, the Uruguayan Supreme Court stated the unconstitutionality of the law with which the liquidation of the airline was approved, bringing the future of the successor company Alas U is unclear.
PLUNA joined Montevideo and Punta del Este, and flew beyond international Buenos Aires, Córdoba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Florianópolis, Porto Alegre, Asuncion and Santiago de Chile.
As of March 2012, the fleet consisted of 13 aircraft PLUNA:
In addition PLUNA operation, inter alia, following aircraft types:
- Boeing 727 (from 1978, former Lufthansa aircraft )
- Boeing 737
- Boeing 767
- De Havilland Heron
- Douglas DC-2
- Douglas DC-3/C-47
- Fairchild F-27
- Fokker F-27 Friendship
- Vickers Viscount