Venezuelan Airline Takes On an Airbus A380 Despite Country’s Reduced Air Operations

Jul 14, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Amid food shortages, widespread blackouts and politically motivated violence in the country, a Venezuelan airline made the decision to expand its fleet. According to a post on the airline’s Facebook page, Estelar Latinoamerica received a leased Airbus A380 on Sunday to replace its A340, which is currently undergoing maintenance. Though Venezuela’s economy is in shambles, Estelar plans to fly passengers from Caracas to destinations in Europe and South America.

Estelar Latinoamerica, founded in 2009, is just one of a handful of airlines based in Venezuela still operating regularly-scheduled commercial flights. The airline serves just 11 destinations with a fleet of seven aircraft, consisting primarily of older model Boeing 737s, including three Boeing 737-200s and three Boeing 737-300s. Beginning in 2017, the airline launched nonstop flights to Europe using a leased Airbus A340. However, Estelar’s fleet just got a lot bigger with the arrival of a leased Airbus A380.

Hi Fly Malta Airbus A380 at Farnborough Airshow

According to One Mile At A Time, Estelar Latinoamerica’s leased Airbus A340 is currently undergoing maintenance. To prevent any service disruptions, Estelar took delivery of the Airbus A380 — the largest passenger jet ever built — to accommodate passengers on the airline’s long-haul flights. Like the airline’s Airbus A340, the Airbus A380 is leased from Hi Fly Malta.

For the next 15 days, Estelar Latinoamerica will operate its leased Airbus A380 on the following routes:

  • Caracas (CCS) to Madrid (MAD) | Esterlar ES895 | Tuesday and Saturday
  • Caracas (CCS) to Buenos Aires (EZE) | Esterlar ES8569 | Sunday and Wednesday

The airline’s flights to Madrid and Buenos Aires had been operated with leased Airbus A340, while recent flights to Rome from Caracas had been canceled. Effective immediately, all flights to Madrid and Buenos Aires will be operated using the Airbus A380, while flights to Rome appear to be suspended.

As for the onboard experience and classes of service offered on Estelar’s Airbus A380, One Mile At A Time is reporting that only one of the two passenger decks will be used. Twitter user Enrique77W also shared that only the bottom deck will be used on Estelar’s flights.

The A380, which bears the registration 9H-MIP, features the cabin configuration of its former operator, Singapore Airlines. The lower deck of the aircraft features 399 economy class seats and 12 first-class suites. With the upper deck blocked off, the airline will not be using the 60 business class seats onboard the aircraft.

The interior of a Hi Fly Malta Airbus A380

Should one be inclined to experience Estelar’s Airbus A380 service, tickets are available from Caracas to Buenos Aires in economy class from $820 and $928 in business class. Airbus A340 service is expected to resume in 15 days following maintenance.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Featured image by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.