Ezekiel 36:36 (online edit)

“Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD rebuild the ruined places, and replant that which was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”

This series is a documentation of Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB), one of the world’s oldest surviving airlines. Founded in 1925, it has played an important role in every stage of the country’s history. Currently under threat of closure and with its downed fleet of aircraft slowly crumbling away, this airline continues to survive through the loyalty and faith of its remaining unpaid 180 staff.

The title of the work takes its name from the airlines only possible saviour, its last operational airplane called Ezekiel 36:36


LAB first opened a flight school in 1927, and counts Bolivia’s first civil aviation pilot among its students.
Ezekiel 36:36 is the name of one of LAB’s two operational aircraft, though its licences to fly have now been revoked.
Captain Zabalaga’s crew went on strike in late 2012, demanding salaries that were owed to them.
Waiting has become an important part of the struggle for LAB’sremaining employees.
Stray dogs rest in the security booth at the front entrance, and in the shade of buildings.
Much of the hardware that remains at LAB consists of old engines and unused parts.
A Boeing 727 has been stripped of its interiors while its seats undergo maintenance and their covers are replaced.
LAB’s unused offices are gradually becoming storage rooms where unused artifacts are kept.
With over four decades at LAB, Alberto Rocha is the company’s longest-serving employee.
Since LAB’s collapse in 2007, employees have gone for long periods without a salary, and have even endured hunger.
Numerous self-proclaimed saviours have appeared at LAB’s doorstep over the years.
Under the trees a pair of workers talk at LAB’s unofficial canteen, where a plank of wood on a toolbox serves as a table.
As Bolivia’s first airline, and through playing an important role during the Chaco war in 1932, LAB established itself early on as Bolivia’s flagship airline.
The man in the photograph works patiently at LAB’s sewing shop repairing old seat covers with a pedal-powered Singer sewing machine.
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano continues to wait, with resolve and conviction, having endured a long struggle for LAB’s survival.
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