Airlines Remembered

ACES, Aerolineas Centrales de Colombia, S.A.

Photos © R.Leeuw

Ceased operations: 20Aug03 (Suspended operations & liquidated)
Homebase: Medellin-Enrique Olaya Herrera
Founded: 1971
ICAO callsign: ACES
IATA code: VX / ICAO code : AES
Operations: passengers

Airbus A320 VP-BVA (c/n 739) is seen here at Miami,FL 20Feb99

ACES - Aerolineas Centrales de Colombia - was formed in August 1971 with regional scheduled services starting in February 1972 from Medellin. First services were with Saunders-ST-27, modified Herons, flying to Bogota. By 1976 further domestic services to smaller destinations were also being flown and DHC-6 Twin Otters were purchased for this operation.
1981 saw the introduction of jets: Boeing 727-100s. They allowed for longer routes to be flown.
In 1987 the modified Herons were replaced by Fokker F-27s.
1991 saw a complete fleet change put into action to support the now wide domestic route network. The Fokker Friendships were replaced with modern ATR 42 twins and the aging series 100 Boeing 727s were replaced with newer series 200Advanced types, with further 727s being leased in the mid 1990s.
ACES Colombia took on freight services from the mid 1990s when the airline won postal contracts. Toward the end of the 1990s Airbus A320 jets were leased to replace the now aging 727s and a new livery was introduced with them.
During 2002 a merger with Avianca took place: Alianza Summa became the new name for AVIANCA, SAM, & Aces (Colombia) with the aim to cooperate, to fight foreign competion and declining traffic. Summa, made up by ACES, Avianca and the smaller SAM, was owned 50-50 by Colombia's National Coffee Federation and magnate Julio Mario Santo Domingo. The group was formed in an agreement between the federation, which owned ACES, and Santo Domingo, who controlled Avianca and SAM.
09Jun03: Colombia's Aces airline is returning 8 short-range 47-seat ATR-42 propeller aircraft to leasing companies under parent group Alianza Summa's broad reorganization plan, Summa announced.
ACES' fleet had shriveled to 5 planes from 17 by the time operations were suspended. The airline lost $9 million in the first four months of the year, taking its liabilities to $76 million at the end of April 2003.

Airbus A320 VP-BVB (c/n 743) at Miami IAP, 20Feb99.

Historical info: Airline Histories

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