MIAMI – Sometimes Fridays aren’t fun, and sunny days aren’t always as shiny as they seem. This was today’s state of affairs, as United Airlines finally said ‘goodbye’ to Caracas, Venezuela.
As it was announced a month ago by the carrier, they ended the service because it was “not meeting our financial expectations”. Clearly, the ‘financial expectations’ are summed up in a package that makes it difficult for airlines to maintain Venezuelan service; it includes the country’s bad administration, a remaining debt to the aviation industry from the government and the fear sustained in the lack of security.
Claps and tears of sadness accompanied United’s last departure at the Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS), the Venezuelan flag was exhibited by the pilots from the Boeing 737-800 cockpit to say goodbye, and the flight attendants assured passengers, with tears in their eyes, they “will see each other again”.
United’s progressive farewell started three years ago when they were forced to reduce their daily flight to a four-weekly flight. At the beginning of the summer season, the airline went back to daily frequency, but since April 4th, due to the lack of security in Caracas, the flight from Houston made technical stops in Aruba to change crews, so they wouldn’t have to overnight in the Venezuelan city.
You may be asking yourself: Why do Venezuelans make such a drama out of this? Easy. They have the ongoing feeling that their main international gateway is closing down day after day. They feel trapped in their own country and even though there are Venezuelans that want to stay and fight their liberty, they are scared that if it is not achieved, there’s no way out of the rude dictatorship they are living in.
— Reportes en Vivo (@ReportenVivo) June 30, 2017
Flight attendant saying to passengers “We will see each other again… We will see each other again…”
It’s hard for them to see how everyone is running away from their country; this is not the first last departure they’ve experienced. Several international carriers, including Air Canada, Alitalia, Lufthansa, LATAM, GOL and Insel Air ceased flights to Venezuela. Others, such as American Airlines and Delta, have decreased their operations, and Aerolineas Argentinas took extra measures to keep their crew safe during their layovers in Caracas.
Hundreds of Venezuelans expressed their grief on Social Media. With emotive messages, such as “We’ll see each other again in democracy” they exposed the sadness, impotence, and rage to see, once more, their “Land Of Grace” wrapped in big disgrace.