What’s happening in Venezuela? Here’s a guide to understand the current crisis
American Airlines stopped service to Venezuela Friday after the U.S. State Department raised the travel advisory to a Level 4 this week, urging U.S. citizens not to travel to the country.
On Thursday, the pilots’ union for American Airlines told pilots to refuse to fly to the country, which is facing international protests against President Nicolás Maduro and widespread power outages and inflation. American said the halt in service is temporary.
Other U.S. and many foreign carriers have stopped flying to Venezuela as the country’s economic and political situation has deteriorated in recent years. American, the largest airline in the U.S., had been operating two daily flights from Miami International Airport to Caracas and one to Maracaibo.
“American will not operate to countries we don’t consider safe,” the airline said in a statement Friday.
Nearby Haiti, which endured days of deadly protests in February, also has a Level 4 travel warning from the State Department. Travel website Expedia and its subsidiaries blocked travelers from booking flights and hotels in Haiti last month. JetBlue, Air Canada, and Air Transat announced they will reduce service to Haiti through April. American Airlines continues its regular service to Haiti.
The decision to halt service to Venezuela comes as American faces an aircraft shortage after the U.S. government grounded the Boeing Max planes, which AA operates on a number of routes. It continues to cancel several daily flights while the Boeing Max technical issues are being addressed.