The Story of Brazilian Regional Carrier Rico Linhas Aéreas & More News Here

This is a narrative of a historic enterprise enterprise in Brazilian aviation, and like many air carriers, Rico Linhas Aereas’ historical past had its collection of (pardon the pun) ups and downs. Over time, it turned a robust presence in Amazonian aviation, however sadly, monetary headwinds finally compelled the corporate to stop operations and rework right into a constitution airline that also flies right this moment.

From highly effective (Amazonian) regional to downsized constitution

At its peak, Rico Linhas Aéreas was the most important regional service in Brazil. It flew three Boeing 737-200s and one 737-300QC serving a rising community of cities. However, attending to that time required persistence and capitalizing on key progress alternatives. This was not a straightforward activity within the difficult Brazilian Amazon.

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Brazilian service with Turkish roots

The title Rico Linhas Aereas clearly sounds prefer it has deep Brazilian roots. Well, there’s a Turkish twist to its historical past. Its founder was Munur Yurtsever who immigrated from Turkey to later be referred to as “Comandante Mickey”. His first foray into Brazilian aviation was as an airplane mechanic in Nova Xavantina, Mato Grosso. Later, he purchased a Cessna 190 to assist gold-mining operations within the Amazonian area.

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Business was good throughout the Sixties, which gave Yurtsever the chance to ascertain Taxi Aéreo Rondônia Indutria e Comerico (RICO), an air taxi firm based mostly out of Porto Velho. Things continued to go properly for the corporate, and Comandante Mickey capitalized on enterprise alternatives offered by the constructing of the Trans-Amazonian Highway throughout the Nineteen Seventies. So, he moved the corporate’s base to Manaus and commenced working flights supporting the development firms engaged on this huge street venture.

King of the Amazon

Focusing on supporting the growth of key infrastructure and mining initiatives within the Amazon proved to be a profitable enterprise technique for Comandante Mickey. From 1974 to 1982, RICO had the excellence of being the most important fleet operator of the Douglas DC-3 and operated 23 of the kind. By the Nineties, Comandante Mickey was able to increase into scheduled regional passenger operations. On November 1, 1996, RICO acquired authorities air transport approval.

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His first plane was an Embraer 110, rapidly adopted by two Embraer 120s and one other 110. The growth of routes continued, and by 2000, RICO operated three Embraer 110s, 3 Embraer 120s, and a Cessna 208A serving Manus, ltamira, Belem, Maues, Parintins and Santarem.

Air carriers at all times have a good time the arrival of their first jets, and RICO adopted the custom when the corporate acquired its first Boeing 737. Formerly flown by Varig, the B737-200Adv opened the door for the arrival of two extra B737-200s, and finally a B737-300 (additionally beforehand operated by Varig). Talks of buying a Boeing 757 finally stalled, and the corporate targeted on the 737s for his or her huge route growth. RICO finally gained the excellence of being the most important regional airline in Brazil on the time.

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A descending spiral into a brand new sort of operation

Competitive headwinds slowed RICO’s progress as soon as GOL began flying Amazonian routes. Over time, the competitor took a larger stronghold of the area’s demand whereas considerably undercutting RICO’s fares. This finally weakened Captain Mickey’s operation to the purpose the place it ceased operations in 2010.

The arrival of GOL spelled the start of the tip for RICO. Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying.

In addition, a well-publicized accident involving one of its EMB-120s crashing throughout touchdown was a public relations blow to the service. The accident report particulars how on August 30, 2002, the flight departed Cruzeiro do Sul for a flight to Rio Branco, with an intermediate cease at Tarauacá. While approaching Rio Branco throughout a rainstorm, the plane descended under the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) and struck some rising terrain 1.5 km brief of the runway.

Today’s operation is a bit smaller in scale however nonetheless with the Yursever household title. In truth, Átila Yurtsever just isn’t solely proprietor of Rico Táxi Aéreo but additionally Comandante Mickey’s son. He operates an organization that resulted from a merger between Mickey Taxi Aéreo and Rondônia Indústria e Comércio. Interestingly, the origin of the brand new title are the initials of Rondônia Indústria Comércio (RICO), an homage to Captain Mickey’s historic presence within the Amazon.

The present firm operates a small fleet of principally turboprop plane, together with Cessna 208s, Embraer 110s, 120s but additionally a Cessna Citation enterprise jet and a piston-powered Caraja. So, whereas the corporate construction has modified, the Yursever title continues to fly all through the Amazonian skies.

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