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PLUNA Líneas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A. is Uruguay's national airline, headquartered in Carrasco.[1][2] It operates scheduled services within South America, as well as unscheduled cargo and charter services, with its main hub being Carrasco International Airport, near Montevideo.[3]




The airline was established in September 1936 and started operations on November 20, 1936. It was formed by brothers Jorge and Alberto Márquez Vaesa, who had obtained the necessary financial and technical support through the ambassador of the United Kingdom to Uruguay at the time, Sir Eugen Millington-Drake. This gentleman writes in his memoirs that he suggested the airline be named using a memorable acronym, taking SABENA as an example. It was then decided on "PLUNA" which in Spanish stands for "First Uruguayan Air Navigation Lines". Millington-Drake knew De Havilland's representative in Buenos Aires at the time, which helped in the acquisition of the airline's first aircraft. The airline flew two De Havilland 5-passenger Dragonfly aircraft, from Montevideo to Salto and Paysandú.[4] The two planes were baptised Churrinche and San Alberto, the latter in honor of the brothers' father. PLUNA flew 2,600 passengers in their first fiscal year, a huge success for that era. It also flew 20,000 pieces of mail and 70,000 newspapers.

The 1940s saw PLUNA's expansion into the international field, with the airline's first regular service to Brazil in December, 1947, which linked the cities of Montevideo and Punta del Este with Porto Alegre, Brazil. This route was later extended to include São Paulo as well. Also added to PLUNA's network were Santa Cruz in Bolivia, as well as the Argentine destinations of Buenos Aires, Rosario and Córdoba.

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