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Iberia changes its non-stop Caracas route with a stop in Santo Domingo, citing safety concerns

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Iberia changes its non-stop Caracas route with a stop in Santo Domingo, citing safety concerns

Iberia changes its non-stop Caracas route with a stop in Santo Domingo, citing safety concerns
August 03
13:29 2017

Written by: Enrique Perrella and María Corina Roldán


MIAMI – As the political and social unrest continue to dwell in Venezuela, Iberia has found a way to continue serving its Madrid-Caracas flight without forcing its crew to overnight in the troubled country.

According to a directive issued by Iberia to its employees, flights to Caracas will now make a stop in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where it will change crews and continue down to Caracas before returning to Madrid.

A similar strategy was pursued by United, swapping its direct Houston-Caracas route with a crew-change stop in Aruba. This, however, reportedly lowered the flight’s load factors and ended up forcing the airline to shut down the route.

Iberia had originally suspended its flights to Caracas during the weekend polls that the Venezuelan government had organized last week. This temporary suspension created a cloud of uncertainty as Iberia passengers were unaware whether the suspension was temporary or permanent, especially after Avianca inadvertently pulled out of the country a few days ahead of the elections.

Iberia issued a statement announcing that it had no intentions to axe their historic Caracas route. However, a few extra security measures had to be taken to “guarantee the safety of their crew”, especially after Spain’s Foreign Ministry advised all Spanish citizens to avoid the South American country.

The Madrid-based carrier assured this decision will be temporary “until uncertainty dissipates.”

Iberia will be flying on Thursday with an Airbus A340-600, bringing some extra capacity to carry 346 passengers that remained stranded from last week suspension; however, the airline will maintain the route with their usual Airbus A330-200, which sits 278 passengers.

iberia-airbus-a340-600-ccs

On top of Iberia, both Aerolíneas Argentinas and Air France temporarily suspended services to Venezuela. According to several sources, availability to fly out of Caracas is zeroed, at the moment.

Lastly, Delta announced the cancellation of their Atlanta-Caracas route last week. Their last flight will be on September 17.

Other international carriers that axed Caracas from their networks are Air Canada, Alitalia, Lufthansa, LATAM, GOL, Insel Air, United Airlines and Avianca.

As of today, only 11 international carriers remain flying to Venezuela, three of them with temporary suspension: American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Air France, Aerolíneas Argentinas , Iberia, Air Europa, Tame, TAP, Turkish Airlines, Cubana, and Latin American Wings.

Chronologically, these are some of the airlines that have opted to suspend flights to Venezuela:

  • Avianca, daily flight from Bogotá on July 27, 2017.
  • Avianca, daily flight from Lima on July 27, 2017.
  • United Airlines, daily flight from Houston on June 30, 2017.
  • Dynamic Airways, daily flight from Fort Lauderdale on August 13, 2016.
  • LATAM, a weekly flight from Lima, twice weekly flight from Santiago on August 1, 2016.
  • Aeromexico, thrice weekly flights from Mexico City on June 23, 2016.
  • Lufthansa, thrice weekly flights from Frankfurt on June 17, 2016.
  • LATAM, a weekly flight from Sao Paulo on May 28, 2016.
  • Alitalia, a weekly flight from Rome on April 3, 2015.
  • Air Canada, four weekly flights from Toronto on March 18, 2014.
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About Author

Alvaro Sanchez

Alvaro Sanchez

Online Executive Editor. Journalist and Certified Radio Host. Studying for a Specialization in Public Opinion and Political Communications. Even though I love politics I've found myself fascinated by the Aviation World. I'm also passionate by economy, strategic communications, my family, my country, and dogs. mc@airwaysmag.com

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