Varig (Varig Brazilian Airlines) also known as Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense SA, is one of Brazil's leading international airlines, along with TAM. Varig's beginnings can be traced to May 7, 1927 at the Porto Alegre Commercial Association meeting. It was there that Otto Ernst Meyer, a German immigrant, signed the certificate declaring Varig an airline company. Varig uses the IATA designator RG.
Varig Boeing 777.
Varig's first plane was a nine passenger Atlantico 9, considered to be one of the most modern planes of the time. Its first employee, Ruben Berta, later turned into the airline's President and led the airline through great expansion and economic times. He left office only when he died, in 1966.
Varig has had three crashes with fatalities since 1970:
- 11 July 1973, near Paris, France, forced landing due to fire in a rear lavatory, 123 deaths
- 3 January 1987, near Abidjan, Ivory Coast, engine failure, 50 deaths
- 3 September 1989, near Sao Jose do Xingu, Brazil. Pilot navigational error led to fuel exhaustion and a forced landing in the jungle. Twelve of the 48 passengers were killed in the crash. The survivors were forced to search for help before being discovered two days later.
The airline flies many types, such as Boeing 737, Boeing 747 and Boeing 777. It is a member of the Star Alliance and has partnerships domestically with Nordeste airlines and Rio-Sul airlines.
Other facts of interest