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A number of airlines, including Delta Air Lines and Avianca Airlines, intend to suspend their services to Caracas.
According to the letter submitted by Delta to the Venezuelan National Institute of Civil Aviation, the last flight DL781 from Atlanta to Caracas will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017. The return and final farewell flight to Atlanta, DL802, will depart Caracas the following morning on September 17, 2017. Delta has not published an official statement on the cancellation of the route.
Earlier Avianca also announced the suspension of its daily services to Venezuela. The airline also suspended all tickets sales to and from Venezuela effective immediately. In a press release, the carrier said the decision was taken last night in a meeting with the Colombian Aviation Authorities in Bogota, due to the great struggle the airline is currently dealing with to maintain service to Venezuela.
“After 60 years of service in Venezuela, Avianca regrets this difficult decision, but our duty is to warranty the security of the operations,” said Hernán Rincón, President of Avianca Airlines. “As a company, we have the disposition and will to return operations, once we have the required conditions.”
Delta and Avianca claim that the current instability in the country and poor performing economics are the main drivers in such harsh decision.
Both airlines will now join the ever growing list of carriers that have already ceased flying to Venezuela: Air Canada, Alitalia, Lufthansa, LATAM, GOL, Insel Air, Dynamic, Aeromexico, and United.
The last standing U.S.-based carrier flying to Venezuela, American Airlines (AA), has also taken drastic measures ahead of the dramatic political situation the South American country is going through. Initially flying to Caracas from Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), New York (JFK), and Miami (MIA), AA decreased its connectivity to the Venezuelan capital to just two daily flights between Miami and Caracas.
Numerous frequent flyers based in Caracas commented on social media how this affects their connectivity to the United States, especially now that United is gone and AA remains with two daily flights.
“On my last flight to Caracas, I spoke to crew members and none of them wanted to be flying to Venezuela. They said it was too unsafe,” said Jose Rodriguez. “If American decides to leave, our chances to fly to the U.S. on reliable carriers are gone.”
Chronologically, these are some of the airlines that have opted to suspend flights to Venezuela:
- United Airlines, daily flight from Houston on June 30, 2017.
- Dynamic Airways, daily flight from Fort Lauderdale on August 13, 2016.
- LATAM, a weekly flight from Lima, twice weekly flight from Santiago on August 1, 2016.
- Aeromexico, thrice weekly flights from Mexico City on June 23, 2016.
- Lufthansa, thrice weekly flights from Frankfurt on June 17, 2016.
- LATAM, a weekly flight from Sao Paulo on May 28, 2016.
- Alitalia, a weekly flight from Rome on April 3, 2015.
- Air Canada, four weekly flights from Toronto on March 18, 2014.