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Until March, American Airlines had been operating twice-daily service between Miami (MIA) and Caracas, Venezuela (CCS). Those flights had been suspended indefinitely, and the US State Department had increased its threat level to the highest level, strongly advising Americans to avoid visiting the nation.
Now, due to ongoing civil unrest, the Department of Homeland Security has taken the extraordinary step to ban all commercial and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela. According to a press release: “Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan determined that conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew, requiring an immediate suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela. In accordance with the statute, the Secretary of State has approved flight suspension, and the Secretary of Transportation has implemented the determination.”
Currently, it remains possible to book a connecting itinerary to Venezuela, as international carriers — including Panama’s Copa Airlines — are still operating flights. Some European carriers are flying to the country as well, including TAP Air Portugal, with twice-weekly service on a Boeing 767 (update: operated by EuroAtlantic Airways).
While it’s unclear how long this ban will remain in place, the State Department will “continue to monitor the situation,” explaining that “If and when the conditions in Venezuela change, and if in the public interest, the Secretaries will revisit this determination. Until then, the flight suspension will remain in effect indefinitely.”
Featured photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images.
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