In April 1980 Hélio Smidt becomes
the new VARIG’s president, which under his command, expanded even
more its domestic and international network, but focusing in
Brazil’s interior cities. Hélio Smidt also assured fleet
modernization with Boeing 737, 747 and 767. He led the
company into an extremely dynamic philosophy and gave much value to
man and teamwork. VARIG lost some of its brightness when Helio Smidt
gone, in April 1990.
On February 12, 1981 VARIG acquired its first Jumbo jet. The three Boeing 747-200 initially operated on Rio de Janeiro - New York route and was an immediate hit among passengers. So years later, in 1985, VARIG acquired two more units, this time Boeing 747-300.
In 1987 VARIG received the new generation wide-body jets Boeing 767-200ER. VARIG was the first airline in the world to operate B767 equipped with General Electric engines. The following year fleet modernization arrived on domestic routes, with the first Boeing 737-300. They became the main aircraft for short and medium range flights, including the replacement of Electra II in Rio de Janeiro - São Paulo route.
Ceremony for the two first Boeing 747
VARIG's Cartering / Boeing 747-200
How was fly in the 80s:
The glamor of the 60s and 70s began to lose some brightness with the "low cost, low fare" airlines. The economy class was the one that lost more services, but it still were abundant and hot food and drinks such wine and whiskey. However, the glamor in First Class still intact. Was in the 80s that the Executive Class become something common in international flights.
Passengers: 142 million (average 14,21 million per year)
FOCUS: Varig and Cruzeiro flying together
In 1975 Varig bought Cruzeiro and started to dominate
100% of international market. Thenceforth VARIG and
Cruzeiro flew together until 90s, when Cruzeiro brand
finally disappeared. But these two airlines shared many
more things, even before the purchase.