American Airlines cancels flights into Venezuela over country's chaos

Elias Hubbard
March 15, 2019

American Airlines on Friday announced the suspension of flights to Venezuela over safety concerns as self-declared interim president Juan Guaido called for more nationwide protests.

The department cited civil unrest, poor health and arbitrary arrest and detention of USA citizens in Venezuela for issuing the advisory on March 12.

On Thursday, the pilots' union for American Airlines told pilots to refuse to fly to the country, which is facing global protests against President Nicolás Maduro and widespread power outages and inflation.

The US State Department halted operations at its Embassy in Caracas and advised all Americans to leave.

However, American Airlines is still officially operating flights to the Venezuela capital from Miami.

"American will not operate in countries we don't consider safe", the airline told Bloomberg News.

The number of Americans in the country is unknown, but it is "in the range of 30,000", Abrams said, speaking at the State Department.

All U.S. diplomats left the country on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The latest turmoil in the country has led to the Allied Pilots Association telling its members to refuse duty.

"Until further notice, if you are scheduled, assigned, or reassigned a pairing into Venezuela, refuse the assignment", the APA said in a statement.

United, which offers a flight out of Newark, did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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