Saturday, March 16, 2019
In response to APA’s notice to pilots to refuse flying into Venezuela and APFA’s 100% support of APA, American has suspended its operation into Caracas (CCS) and Maracaibo (MAR). APA President Captain Dan Carey and I spoke by phone of their union’s action prior to sending out a communication to pilots late Thursday night, March 14. We immediately issued our own statement of support of this necessary action to safeguard our crews and passengers. We will not allow our crews to fly into an area that may put them into harm’s way. We believe the situation is dire in Venezuela.
In its Level 4 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 goes on to cite “Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common,” and recommends 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 The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has suspended operations and has withdrawn diplomatic personnel from Venezuela, and is not providing any consular services. All of this is very concerning to our Unions who represent American’s crews and transport our passengers.
APFA is currently working on an agreement with Management for protections for our Flight Attendants impacted by the suspension of flying into Venezuela. APFA will continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela along with APA and American. We will keep you updated of further details or news of this situation.
The safety of our crews and passengers will always come first. Have a nice weekend and fly safe.