In 1952 VARIG bought Aero Gal, which enabled VARIG to expand its lines to Brazil's northeast, serving also Vitória, Salvador, Maceió, Recife, João Pessoa and Natal. In 1953 the line to Montevideo was expanded to Buenos Aires, VARIG's second international destination. The first flight took off on 30 June, on Rio de Janeiro - Sao Paulo - Porto Alegre - Montevideo - Buenos Aires route, operated with Curtiss C-46 three times a week. At that time the flight lasted about seven hours and ten minutes.
In 1953 VARIG made a complete restructure after
received government permission to operate flights to the United
States. VARIG ordered Convair 240 and four-engine Lockheed Super
G Constellation. Convair 240 was the fastest aircraft at that time
and would complement the flights made by Constellation. VARIG
also created a sophisticated high quality on board and ground
On July 28, 1955 VARIG’s first flight to New York took off.
Initially were two weekly flights that departed from Rio de Janeiro
to New York, with stops in Belém, Port of Spain and Santo Domingo.
The flight also proceeded to south, from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo,
Porto Alegre, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.
For the first time VARIG hired female flight attendant. The Constellation had beds and was not appropriate women and children with pajamas be cared by men. The comfort and on board service of VARIG’s Constellation were incomparable and made the airline famous worldwide. The Super G Constellation had 15 seats in Tourist Class in the front of the plane 3+2. Two toilets behind, followed by 28 First Class seats arranged in four rows, 2+2. Then there was a living room with rotating seats. And then more 11 First Class seats. VARIG’s kitchen had cook from The Russian Royal Family and, for many people, VARIG’s food was better than any restaurant in Brazil.
To maintain its position as a pioneer and stay ahead of its competitors, VARIG ordered new Boeing 707 jet, in September 1957, and Caravelle jet in October. Brazil’s first jet aircraft arrived in September 1959, it was VARIG’s first Caravelle, immediately used on Rio – New York route. VARIG was the first airline in the world to operate a pure jet at JFK airport in New York. With Caravelle, the flight between Rio de Janeiro and New York was reduced from 25 hours to 14 hours. Nevertheless, Constellation still shared the route with Caravelle. The route was done twice a week with Constellation and twice a week with Caravelle, a total of four weekly frequencies.
On board VARIG’s Constellation:
Meal was served in Japanese porcelain Noritake
Convair 240 / Caravelle
IN FOCUS: Varig VS. Real
July 1955 VARIG were focused on its more glamorous route
linking Rio de Janeiro to New York. But the company had
two main competitors: Pan Am and Real. Pan Am was simply
the largest and most powerful airline in the world and
to compete with her VARIG knew that it needed perfect
service on ground and on board. Real was newbie and
started international flights to Los Angeles and Miami,
after buy Aerovias. Real called passengers attention
with below average tariffs, but the dispute was best
remembered who had the most modern aircraft.