Air Canada suspends Venezuelan operation

18 Mar 2014 by GrahamSmith

Air Canada has suspended flights to and from Venezuela until further notice due to security concerns.

From today, the carrier will no longer operate its three weekly services between Toronto and Caracas.

It cited the "ongoing civil unrest" in the country for its decision and said it will only consider resuming the flights once the situation has stabilised.

Air Canada said in a statement: "Due to ongoing civil unrest in Venezuela, Air Canada can no longer ensure the safety of its operation and has suspended flights to Caracas until further notice."

Passengers booked to fly to Caracas with the airline will either be rebooked onto other carriers or will be given a refund, Air Canada said.

Over the last few weeks, students and opposition leaders and their supporters have taken to the streets to demonstrate against Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro's socialist government. The death toll currently stands at 29.

International airlines say the Venezuelan government owes them more than £1.8 billion.

Colombian airline Avianca last week announced that it will cut its thrice-weekly service between Bogota and Caracas to a daily operation from this Thursday.

And Lufthansa recently revealed that its 2013 financial results suffered a "double-digit million euro hit from payment issues" in Venezuela, according to Reuters.

Graham Smith

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