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American Airlines suspends flights to Venezuela from Miami indefinitely

An American Airlines plane. (Dreamstime/TNS)
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American Airlines won’t be restarting service to Venezuela any time soon.

The airline had planned to begin flying to Venezuela again on April 1 after temporarily halting its three daily flights from Miami on March 15. Instead the airline announced Thursday that it is suspending service to Venezuela indefinitely.

American Airlines corporate communications director Martha Pantin said demand for flights to Venezuela was down even before the U.S. State Department raised the travel advisory to a Level 4 earlier this month.

“American is proud of our more than 30 years of service to the country and is committed to working cooperatively with our team members, union leaders and other key stakeholders to re-establish service when the conditions are right and minimize the impact on our customers and team,” she said.

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.

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Widespread power outages hit Venezuela again earlier this week. Approval of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro is down in areas that traditionally supported him. Meanwhile this week, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly who declared himself president and is recognized by dozens of countries as such, met with President Donald Trump at the White House, where Trump assured her he would “fix” the country’s instability.

The decision to halt service to Venezuela comes as American faces an aircraft shortage after the U.S. government grounded the Boeing Max planes earlier this month, which AA operates on a number of routes. It continues to cancel several daily flights while the Boeing Max technical issues are being addressed.

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© 2019 Miami Herald

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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