American Airlines announced this week that it was indefinitely suspending its service to Venezuela, effective immediately, because of political unrest in the country.
The decision was made after the Allied Pilots Association, the country’s major union representing airline pilots, issued a warning to its members not to fly to Venezuela amidst a reissued Level 4 Travel Advisory.
“American will not operate to countries we don’t consider safe,” an American spokesperson told the Associated Press.
American was the last major carrier still offering service to Venezuela — it had been flying from Miami to Caracas and Maracaibo.
The U.S. State Department had pulled out all of its diplomatic personnel from Venezuela earlier in the month and then reissued an updated travel advisory on Mar. 12.
The advisory warns travelers: “Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health, infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens … Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common.”
“Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants, and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism,” the advisory reads.