Avianca celebrated New Years a little too hard


Well-Known Member
Random. The plane is registered with a N number but belongs to a Colombian airline. Is that typically normal?


Dergs favorite member
Random. The plane is registered with a N number but belongs to a Colombian airline. Is that typically normal?
I had the same wonderment
Don’t know if it applies in this case but found this:

“Carriers in emerging markets may be required to register aircraft in an offshore jurisdiction where they are leased or purchased but financed by banks in major onshore financial centres. The financing institution may be reluctant to allow the aircraft to be registered in the carrier's home country (either because it does not have sufficient regulation governing civil aviation, or because it feels the courts in that country would not cooperate fully if it needed to enforce any security interest over the aircraft)”


Well-Known Member
Colombia along with much of Central and South America actually has extremely laissez-faire laws regarding the operation of foreign tagged aircraft in commercial flight. This probably has a lot to do with their homegrown aviation enterprises historically being closely entwined across national borders, and more recently, mitigated a lot of the headaches that could have otherwise resulted from the merger-mania that has produced modern Avianca/TACA and LAN/TAM.

They're most likely to simply keep new planes tagged in their original registration out of convenience, rather than necessity.


All of Avianca's aircraft are N-registered. Like Derg's favorite "member" said, I suspect this was a financing/insurance thing.

Side trivia: Some Aeroflot aircraft have "VP-B" & "VQ-B" (Bahamas) registrations. Rather than pay the massive import taxes for Boeing and Airbus planes, they just never import them. I guess Russia allows foreign-registered aircraft on their equivalent of an operating cert. The Russian-made aircraft have the regular "RA-" Russian registrations.


Interesting. That aircraft started off with Delta, then flew with "Total Air" (which rebranded as "Air America") where it picked up the Irish registration. The aircraft was leased from Guinness Peat (GPAG, now AerCap) so a lessor is probably the reason there as well.

I didn't think a foreign-registered aircraft could be on the certificate, but §121.153 (c) says otherwise:
A certificate holder may operate in common carriage, and for the carriage of mail, a civil aircraft which is leased or chartered to it without crew and is registered in a country which is a party to the Convention on International Civil Aviation if <blah, blah>


Joe Conventional
I know I see some US registered 787s flying for Aeromexico. Always seem to park alongside them at hard stands in NRT