Pilots refuse to fly here

A US pilots union has told its members not to fly into Venezuela after a US Department of State advisory issued a travel warning to all US citizens travelling to the beleaguered nation.

“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 pilot (682-315-4340),” the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement.

As a result, the only major US carrier servicing Venezuela, American Airlines, has halted all services to the nation.

The US Department of State travel advisory says Americans should steer clear of Venezuela due to “crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens” and that “violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common”.

It’s unfortunate, because Venezuela is home to some of South America’s most incredible landscapes. However, political unrest has ripped through the country leading to decreased living standards, limited access to basic goods and personal safety risks for locals and travellers alike.

Still, visiting can be incredibly cheap because of the black-market value of the dollar/euro, although traveller safety and security is a very serious concern.

Australia’s own Department of Trade and Foreign Affairs (DFAT) has issued a similar warning, telling Australians not to travel there “due to the unstable political and economic situation, food, water, medicine and petrol shortages, and high levels of violent crime. Many hospitals are closed. Power and water outages are common.”

If you’re prepared to travel to Venezuela (which we do not necessarily condone), Copa Airlines, Air France, Iberia, Air Europa and Portugal’s TAP are still flying there.

Read more at Travel Weekly.

Have you been to Venezuela? What was it like? Would you be prepared to bypass security warnings to return?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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