IN FOCUS: Brazil's first commercial flight
made the first flight in Brazil, Condor Syndikat or
Varig? Condor Syndikat was Brazilian or German?
Actually there were three airlines involved on Brazil's
commercial aviation beginning:
1) Condor Syndikat - German airline. 2) Syndicato Condor
- Brazilian airline. 3) Varig - Brazilian airline.
Condor Syndikat was founded on May 5, 1924 in Berlin,
Germany. The company was intended to promote German
aircraft and study possibilities of air traffic in South
America and Central America. The company joined SCADTA (after
Avianca) to link the United States, Central America and
Colombia. In 1926 Lufthansa was created and took control
of Condor Syndikat.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, Otto Meyer (founder of VARIG) was
looking for an aircraft to begin VARIG's operations. He
made an agreement with Lufthansa and Condor Syndikat,
which brought Dornier Wal aircraft to Brazil. The
hydro-airplane arrived in Rio Grande do Sul on November
19, 1926. The aircraft also flew to Rio de Janeiro and
Florianópolis, with ministers, journalists and other
important people on board, showing the qualities of the
On January 26, 1927 Brazil authorized Condor Syndikat to
fly in Brazil for one year. On February 3, 1927 the
first commercial flight took place in Brazil, operated
by Condor Syndikat for VARIG. The flight took off at 8
am in Porto Alegre, to Rio Grande,with a stopover in
Pelotas. Condor Syndikat made it because VARIG wasn't
officially established yet. Only on May 7, 1927 VARIG
was created. So the route and the aircraft Dornier Wal
were transferred from Condor Syndikat to VARIG on June
However Condor Syndikat wanted to keep present in Brazil
and created its Brazilian subsidiary, Syndicato Condor.
Syndicato Condor was established on December 1, 1927, in
Rio de Janeiro. The company had already received
authorization to fly between Rio de Janeiro and Recife
on August 20, 1927. Condor Syndikat had also reserved
two Dornier Wal and one Junkers G-24 for its Brazilian
subsidiary. Soon Syndicato Condor became the second
largest airline in Brazil, behind only Panair do Brasil.
While VARIG flew only in Rio Grande do Sul state,
Syndicato Condor flew to all regions of Brazil and
Montevideo, in Uruguay and Buenos Aires, in Argentina.
When Brazil entered in the Second World War, in the 40s,
against Germany, Brazilian airlines with German origin
(VARIG and Syndicato Condor) had to cut its ties with
Germany. VARIG's founder and president Otto Meyer left
the company and the German Junkers aircraft were
replaced by American Douglas DC-3. Syndicato Condor was
nationalized, all Germans were withdraw. The company was
rebranded as Serviços Aéreos Cruzeiro do Sul and the
company's fleet was replaced by American aircraft.