Travel

American Airlines pilots told by union not to fly to Venezuela

American Airlines Group Inc pilots should not fly to Venezuela, an influential pilots union said on Friday, following a travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department this week.

The safety and security of U.S. citizens is our highest priority. If you are a U.S. citizen in Venezuela in need of assistance, or are concerned about a U.S. citizen in Venezuela, please contact the Department of State in one of the following ways:

  • Visit our website Task Force Alert and select “2019 Venezuela Unrest”; or
  • Email VenezuelaEmergencyUSC@state.gov  and provide as much information as possible (at a minimum, please provide the full name, gender, and last known location and/or contact information of the U.S. citizen); or
  • Call us at 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. & Canada), +1-202-501-4444 (from Overseas).

Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common.

The department cited civil unrest, poor health and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in Venezuela for issuing the advisory here on March 12.

“Do not accept any trips to Venezuela,” the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement.

A number of airlines have stopped their flights to the country because of security concerns and disputes over money they say the government owes them.

United Airlines ended its flights to Venezuela in 2017.

Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was not legitimate.

The move has put Venezuela at the heart of a geopolitical tussle, with the United States leading most Western nations in recognizing Guaido as the legitimate head of state.

All U.S. diplomats left the country on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment. source (Reuters)

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