American Airlines quickly suspended service to Venezuela after its pilots were instructed by union leaders to refuse all trips to Venezuela.
The situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate. In response, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning advising against all non-essential travel to the Bolivarian Republic. As reported by The Foward Cabin, AA Captain Dennis Tajer of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) sent a note to pilots earlier this week instructing them not to accept any trips to Venezuela:
In light of the U.S. State Department’s Level 4 Travel Advisory issued this week regarding Venezuela, APA President CA Dan Carey directs all APA pilots to cease flight operations into Venezuela. In its Travel Advisory, the U.S. Department of State cites “crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.” The Travel Advisory also notes that “Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common,” and recommends that U.S. residents “traveling in Venezuela should depart Venezuela.” The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has suspended operations and has withdrawn diplomatic personnel from Venezuela, and is not providing any consular services.
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. Inform them that you are refusing the assignment in accordance with the direction of the U.S. Department of State.
APA will provide follow-on information as soon as it becomes available.
To reiterate: Do not accept any trips to Venezuela.
Captain Dennis Tajer
Allied Pilots Association (APA)
APA Communications Committee – Chairman
APA Industry Analysis Committee
It only took one day for AA to announce it was suspending flights to Caracas.
The safety and security of our team members and customers is always number one and American will not operate to countries we don’t consider safe.
Interesting, though, that this decision came only after the pilots seemed to force AA’s hand…
As Venezuela continues to descend deeper into despair, I expect the dwindling number of carriers who still serve Caracas will gradually pull out. For now, the last link between North America and Venezuela has been severed. You can still reach Caracas via Panama City on COPA.