Varig began on May 7, 1927.  It was founded by German emigrants in Brazil. Varig began non-stop flights between New York City and Rio de Janeiro in 1955. The airline took over many international destinations in the 1960s from bankrupt
Panair do Brasil, such as Frankfurt, Lisbon and Paris. Varig eventually became the largest airline in all of South America, after it bought many other smaller Brazilian airlines.  In 1997, Varig became the first airline to join Star Alliance. In 2001, TAM Airlines became the largest airline in Brazil. Then, Varig stopped flying, and it became known as another airline in 2007.