Flying Down to Rio with British United

A blast from the past when British United flew between the UK and Brazil.

British United took over BOAC’s South American routes to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on 5 November 1964. Those routes, flying VC10s via Madrid, Lisbon, Las Palmas or Freetown, became profitable for United by late-1968. In November 1970, the airline was sold and merged into Caledonian to form British Caledonian that continued to fly to South America, replacing the VC10s with Boeing 707s in 1972, which allowed for a non-stop service between London Gatwick and Rio.

British Airways took over the routes from British Caledonian in 1985.

LATA Foundation backs two new projects in Latin America

logo lata

The LATA Foundation,  a UK-based charity that was set up by the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) to help in Mexico, Central and South America, has announced that it is backing two new projects in Bolivia and Mexico.

In Bolivia, the LATA Foundation is helping to provide an innovative way to support the Alalay centre near Santa Cruz which is home to 130 street children. Quail eggs are a popular delicacy in Bolivia and the LATA Foundation is helping to set up a farm with 3,000 quail to supply eggs to the market. The project is run by Friends of Alalay (Santa Cruz) who have already carried out a successful pilot study, done considerable market research and secured the support of a local hotel to purchase 500 quail eggs a month. The farm will quickly become self-funding (within 3 months) and will generate much needed income to pay staff salaries, provide books, clothes and shoes for the children.

In 2010 the LATA Foundation provided all the equipment for an on-site medical clinic at Alalay. This helps to monitor child growth and development, provide inoculations and deal with immediate first aid. It is also used by villagers from the local community.

In Mexico, a new water fountain will be located in a school in Puerto Vallarta and will be constructed and maintained by New Life Mexico which has a well-established track record.  In 2011 they built a water fountain for the LATA Foundation which is being used by 500 people daily. Since 2010, New Life Mexico has constructed 23 fountains, 21 of them in schools.

The new fountain will take 4 weeks to build and is in partnership with La Vida, another charity working to support health and educational projects in Latin America.  The LATA Foundation and La Vida held a successful fundraising event recently and this is their first jointly-funded project. In addition they have managed to secure the support of the Montpelier Foundation to construct a further three water fountains in other schools.

The LATA Foundation has now supported over twenty projects across Latin America including a reforestation programme in Peru, turtle protection in Venezuela and a project to provide clean water to a community of a thousand people living in abject poverty in Nicaragua.

The LATA Foundation is entirely run by volunteers. The organisation was set up by the Latin America Travel Association in 2008.  Their work is now helping thousands of people throughout the region.

For more further information CLICK HERE or follow on Twitter @latafoundation

CNN Business Traveller interview Pickard

Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard was interviewed by CNN Business Traveller’s October 2012 programme. The programme focused on travel in South America and Pickard spoke in his position as chairman of the Latin American Travel Association about aviation and accommodation in the region.

The programme can be viewed at:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three