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Silver Birds

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

My latest acquisition has arrived and sits on its display shelf. The model in question is an American Airlines 767-200 by Dragon Wings. When I started collecting, I didn’t think I was going to be building fleets of airlines other than Viasa. But as the collection follows its natural course, some fleets of other airlines are starting to appear.

AA not only was the most prominent international airline in Venezuela for many years, but it also was one of the airlines in which I traveled the most as a kid in the 1990s and 2000s. No wonder a noticeable concentration of silver birds has formed in my modest collection.

Since the downfall of Pan Am up until the sanctions of 2019 AA’s 727-200s, 757s, A300s, 767s, and 737-800s were staples of CCS’s traffic. You had to be lucky to find the international terminal without at least one silver bird parked somewhere. During its peak AA was offering five daily flights to MIA as well as single daily services to JFK, SJU and DFW.

From the mid to late nineties AA also offered a daily flight between Miami and Maracaibo. Service started around 1995/96 on 727-200s, but it only lasted about a year initially. Service was restored around 1998 with 737-800s and was eventually upgraded to 757s in early 2006. Eventually, Maracaibo was downgraded again to a mix of 737-800 and A319s, and the frequency significantly reduced shortly before the sanctions of 2019.

The first time I visited the U.S. was on board an AA 727-200 in 1994. On a flight that took us from Caracas to Miami, where we boarded a second AA 727-200 to continue our journey to Houston.

A300s and 767s were generally seen covering JFK.

Dragon Wings 767-200 N301AA, Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA

Dragon Wings 767-300 N351AA, Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA

Aeroclassics A300-600 N80058

727s were the workhorses between MIA and CCS, eventually replaced by 737-800s.

Dragon Wings 727-200 N866AA (front), Gemini Jets 727-200 N718AA (middle)

NG Model 737-800 N955AN, Dragon Wings 737-800 N951AA (Astrojet colors)

NG Model 737-800W N936AN

757s covered every single AA route out of CCS.