CCS to KFJK in 3.5 hours ?


Good evening,

I do not know if this is the forum for posting this question. My late father once told us that he flew in the early 60´s from Caracas to New York (or from New York to Caracas, don´t remember exactly) in a Viasa Convair 880, in the amazing time of 3.5 hours. If we estimate the distance as 2131 miles, this gives an average speed of 609 mph. He also told us that they had a tailwind to help, and that it was a record fight for the airline. The variable of the distance is estimated, and the elapsed time is as I remember.

Is this time reasonable ? I just checked a regular American Airlines flight 948 on the same route, and it gives 2712 miles in 4 hours and 37 minutes for an average of aprox. 587 mph.



That seems possible – the Convair 880 had a cruise speed of 615 mph:

Given that the route was either north/south or south/north, a major tail wind component at altitude was probably not a factor.


According to the 1 July 1961 VIASA timetable, the CCS to JFK route was scheduled for 4:00. The southbound trip was scheduled for 4:10. A Pan American timetable effective 1 August 1961 showed flight times of 4:15 for both directions between JFK and CCS. Pan Am’s services were via “JET” which was either a 707 or DC-8.

The April 1, 1967 timetable doesn’t show nonstop CCS/JFK service via the 880. It was DC-8 now. However, there were CCS-SDQ (Santo Domingo)-JFK services via both CVR-880 and DC-8. The 880 was scheduled for 10 minutes less on both segments, northbound and southbound.

The 1961 timetable had an advertisement about the 880. It said (the misspellings and the way Convair 880M is straight from the ad)

Up to this writing there is no commercial airliner in the world faster than the Convair 880 M, rated at 615 m.p.m. cruising speed.
Everything, its cheerful interior, its comfortable seats, helps make your flight more restful and enjoyable. The aerodynamic projectil-like shape of the Convair 880 M combined with its jet propulsion, permits this plane to fly near the speed of sound, high above the clouds while the passenger inside the comfortable cabin may relax in a quiet vibrationless (sic) atmosphere.
Your travel in a Convair 880 M will be an unforgettable experience. Make your reservation ahead of time. Make sure your next flight to New York is in a Convair 880 M via VIASA.

The VIASA service started 1 August 1961.

In today’s world the airlines pad their schedules quite a bit. The fuel costs are also higher today so airlines fly slower. There is also additional air traffic around major airports. Take these three things together I’m actually surprised that the AA flight is only roughly 20 minutes longer than the 1960’s.


Also, great circle mapper has the distance at only 2109 statute miles and the direct route that may have been used in that day would put the aircraft directly on approach for the runways that are currently the 31’s (don’t know if they were called that back then or if there were two of them then).


Good evening,

Thanks to all for your comments, what I gather is that the 3.5 hours were a possibility.

In 1969 I had the opportunity to fly from CCS to MIA in a KLM DC-8, I do not remember the time , it was a quick flight ! Service was excellent !


Any possibility of posting a picture of the Viasa Convair 880 commercial ?



You can find this and many other old timetables at the excellent site Airline Timetable Images.

The specific link for the 1961 VIASA timetable with the ad is … va61-1.jpg



Many thanks for the link to these timetables !

Here is a Forum in Spanish with more photos of the Viasa Airline. The first photo is a Viasa Convair 880:

Picture: … onvair.jpg

Best regards,