US DOT Orders Venezuela Flight Suspension

May 15, 2019

The US Transportation Department has ordered the suspension of all commercial flights between the United States and Venezuela.

The order requires an immediate suspension of flights after the Department of Homeland Security concluded in a letter to the DOT that “conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew traveling to or from that country.”

The letter went on to say “the public interest requires an immediate suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela.”

The order applies to all US and foreign air carriers.

The department said it assessment was based on a number of factors including: reports of civil unrest and violence in and around airports; the inability of the US Transportation Security Administration to gain access to Venezuelan airports to conduct security assessments; and the current economic and political crisis in Venezuela.

The DOT order comes after an FAA emergency order earlier this month prohibiting US airlines from flying below 26,000 feet over Venezuela.

American Airlines was the only commercial US carrier to fly to Venezuela, but suspended flights at the end of March.

Some Venezuelan carriers continued offering direct flights between the two countries, but they will now also stop. Flights that land in a third country prior to flying on to the US are not covered by the DOT order.