CLASSA Fokker F.VII3M
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Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas, meaning 'Subsidized Airlines Company', mostly known as CLASSA, was a Spanish airline based in Madrid, Spain.
The airline was established in 1928 as a result of the aim of the military dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera of having a greater state-controlled Spanish airline monopolizing air transport. As had been done with CAMPSA and with CTNE, a monopoly made up by merging the existing aviation companies in Spain was presented as a desirable goal in the general interest.CLASSA's inaugural flight took place on 27 May 1929 between Getafe (Madrid) and Sevilla.
This airline, which ceased operations in the second year of the Spanish Republic, earned a positive reputation for not having had a single air accident during its existence.
CLASSA was an airline founded during General Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. It was established together with the Higher Aeronautic Council (Consejo Superior de Aeronáutica) by virtue of a decree issued on 9 April 1927 —the explicit aim of the newly created council being to unify all existing civil airlines. This aim reflected General Primo de Rivera's policy of establishing monopolies strongly intervened by the state to run the basic public services of the nation. Following a decree issued on 9 January 1928 by the military government, the creation of a new airline was put out to tender and two proposals were presented.
The companies that were merged in order to form CLASSA were Iberia, Unión Aérea Española (U.A.E.), Compañía Española de Tráfico Aéreo (C.E.T.A.)the pilot training company Compañía Española de Aviación (C.E.A.) and the airship line Transaérea Colón. The companies that had a contract with the government at that time, such as Compañía Aérea Jorge Loring, were exempt from joining as long as their government contract was still in force.
The new airline was formally constituted as a company on 13 March 1929, with the full name Compañía de Líneas Aéreas Subvencionadas, Sociedad Anónima, but it soon would be widely known by its acronym 'CLASSA'. The newly formed airline would officially begin full operation of the lines flown by the previous companies on 25 November 1929. However, it was decided that the official date of its constitution would be 25 May 1929, which was the date in which CLASSA took over all the rights and obligations, including the fleets and staff of the companies that had been merged.The Compañía Española de Tráfico Aéreo (C.E.T.A.), a pioneer Spanish airline that had been founded in 1920, ceased to exist after the official date of establishment of CLASSA.
The only exception was the Sevilla - Granada flight by U.A.E. that would be continued to be operated by this company until January 1930. On that date the remaining two Junkers G 24 used by U.A.E. to operate that line —one had been transferred to CLASSA the previous year— joined CLASSA's fleet.U.A.E had sold all its CLASSA shares to Jorge Loring on 24 May 1929, by which Loring became the main de facto shareholder of the new company. Compañía Aérea Jorge Loring's Sevilla - Tetuán - Larache line would be taken over by CLASSA on 31 January 1931, date in which Compañía Aérea Jorge Loring in turn ceased to exist.
In May 1930 CLASSA made the historical first commercial flight to the Canary Islands using one of its Ford 4-AT trimotors, the only plane of the fleet that had a radio on board.The plane landed on 20 May at Los Rodeos Airport (now Tenerife Norte) in Tenerife Island.
Following the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931 LAPE (Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas), the airline that would replace CLASSA became established. On 23 September 1931 the contract between CLASSA and the Spanish government was declared void. LAPE began operations in April 1932, CLASSA flying under the Spanish Republican Flag for one year, following which its fleet and other assets were merged with LAPE's.After the airline was wrapped up the republican government of Spain compensated all of CLASSA's shareholders.
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