American Airlines Pilots Told to Refuse to Fly to Venezuela by Pilot Union

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

March 15, 2019

American Airlines pilots union advises pilots to refuse service to Venezuela

The pilots' union for American Airlines has issued a rare advisory, telling its members to refuse all assignments that has them flying to Venezuela following a State Department warning about crime and unrest there.

American is the last major U.S. carrier still flying to Venezuela. Two flights from Miami to Caracas were canceled on Friday.

The pilots' union cited the Level 4 Travel Advisory warning the U.S. State Department issued earlier this week. The warning instructed U.S. citizens in Venezuela to leave the country.

"Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens," the State Department said.

"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,' " according to the association's note. "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," the Allied Pilots Association said in a note to its members late Thursday.

"To reiterate: Do not accept any trips to Venezuela," the note adds according to USA Today.

Most U.S. airlines have ceased operations to Venezuela over the last few months amid serious political and economic turmoil there. Venezuelan president Nicolas Madura cut diplomatic ties with the U.S. in January after the White House recognized Juan Guaido as the country's president following a controversial election. More than 50 other countries around the world have also recognized Guaido as Venezuela's president.

Photo: Getty Images

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