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Avianca Suspends Venezuela Flights Starting Today

Colombia’s airline had originally announced the suspension of flights would be starting August 16. Today it said the suspension is immediate.

Avianca suspended its Venezuela flights from today (Thursday, July 27), ending service abruptly to the crisis-ridden country instead of withdrawing on August 16 as announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Avianca was operating flights to Caracas from both Bogota and Lima.

The airline cites operational and security reasons. joining other major carriers, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Alitalia, Latam, Lufthansa and United Airlines that have already cut off access to the South American country.

Avianca joins other major carriers, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Alitalia, Latam, Lufthansa and United Airlines that have already cut off access to the South American country.

Avianca, one of the biggest in Latin America, and which has operated in Venezuela for 60 years, says it will stop its twice-daily flights between Caracas and Bogota as well as an almost daily flight to Lima on August 16, 2017

, the company said in a statement.

“After more than 60 years of continuous service to Venezuela, we regret having to make this difficult decision,” chief executive officer Hernan Rincon said. “But it’s our obligation to guarantee operational security.”

The airline said customers who had bought tickets for flights departing after that date would be reimbursed fully.

Airlines still operating flights to Venezuela include Air France, Iberia, Air Europa and TAP, but Venezuelans have complained about the increasing difficulty of getting flights in and out of the country.

Panama’s Copa Airlines is continuing with its regular flights from Panama City. From the United States, American Airlines still flies between Miami and Caracas.

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.