More airlines find Venezuela dreadful
Airlines are continuing to pull out of Venezuela, and this time it’s not just about trapped cash but a whole series of grievances including employees held up at gunpoint, luggage theft, poor runway maintenance and lowquality jet fuel.
United Airlines, Avianca and Delta Air Lines have either stopped flying to Venezuela or said they would leave the country, while three others canceled flights on specific days as the nation descends into chaos. Colombia’s pilots’ association says its members who have flown to Venezuela have had to deal with contaminated fuel and hourslong delays as the National Guard pulls suitcases off flights to loot them. This week, videos showed an apparent assassination of a man at the check-in desk of a Venezuelan airline at Caracas’ international airport.
“Everything that’s part of the airport’s infrastructure started to get degraded,” said Julian Pinzon, the head of security and technical issues at Colombian pilot association Acdac.
The current round of carrier departures comes after routes had stabilized from the previous exodus triggered by the government’s halt of dollar payments, and leaves Venezuelans increasingly cut off from the rest of the world. A flight to Miami in coach class can cost about $1,000, in a country where the monthly minimum wage is about $20 at the black market rate.