Destinations

Why pilots are refusing to fly to Venezuela

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

An American pilots union has told its members not to fly into Venezuela, following an updated travel advisory telling US citizens not to travel there.

As a result, American Airlines has suspended its services to the troubled nation, shutting down the only flights to the country by a major US carrier.

“Until further notice, if you are scheduled, assigned, or reassigned a pairing into Venezuela, refuse the assignment by calling your Chief Pilot or IOC Duty Pilot (682-315-4340),” the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement.

The travel advisory from the US Department of State cites “crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens” as well as warning of “violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common”.

DFAT also advises Australians not to travel to Venezuela “due to the unstable political and economic situation, food, water, medicine and petrol shortages and high levels of violent crime. Many hospitals are closed. Power and water outages are common.”

According to Bloomberg, airlines have complained about staff being held at gunpoint, luggage theft, poor runway maintenance and low-quality jet fuel.

There are still six international airlines that fly into Venezuela: Copa Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Air Europa and Portugal’s TAP.

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