Panair do Brasil - was formed on 29 October 1930 as Nyrba do Brasil, being taken over by Pan American, which renbamed the company Panair do Brasil on 15 September the same year. The company used Sikorski S-38, later S-43, then DC-2s, Lockheed 18s and DC-3s. On 31 March 1946, the first of three L-049 Constellations ordered by Pan American for its subsidiary, arrived in Rio on delivery.
c/n 2049 PP-PCF during a check flight over the Californian coast, March 1946, Lockheed Archives.
This was the first aircraft of a foreign airline to land at then new London Heathrow airport on 16 April 1946. Later the same month, the first scheduled service from Rio to London (via Recife, Dakar, Lisbon and Paris). With the arrival of the second 049 on 1 July 1946 a second round trip a week to Europe was started, one now terminating at Paris, the other at London. By April 1949 the 1000th Atlantic crossing had been made by the 049s, and the network had been extended to Zurich and Madrid in Europe and Montevideo in South America. Early in 1957 most of the European routes were taken over by DC-7C's and these Constellations were released to the domestic network. By end of 1958, the only Panair Connie flights to Europe were the twice weekly Rome, Istanbul and Beirut services. Early 1959 saw the peak of Constellation operations, when twelve Connies were operated. In March 1961 the newly delivered DC-8 had replaced the DC-7Cs on international routes and longer domestic routes were allocated to the DC-7Cs.
c/n 2033 PP-PDD L-049 seen at Rio, May 1963, Zoggavia Collection.
The Connie fleet suffered a number of setbacks when between 1961 and 1962 four aircraft were lost in accidents. During 1963 two further Connies were damaged in accidents, others were had been withdrawn, thus bringing the Connie fleet down to 3 aircraft at the end of the year. On 10 February 1965, the three remaining Connies were still operating the Rio - Belem - Manaos schedule, and the three times weekly Rio to Belem service, Panair do Brasil was grounded by presidential decree, and declared bankrupt on 16 February 1965. The international routes were taken over by Varig, and the domestic network to Vasp. The remaining Connies were stored at Rio, were they later were auctioned, but most of them scrapped.