The US Department of Transportation has officially ordered the suspension of all commercial flights between the US and Venezuela.
All commercial flights carrying either passenger or cargo can no longer take place.
The DoT cites the reports of growing violence and unrest around airports in Venezuela as the reason for this decision. This move follows the decisions made by many international airlines to stop flying to Venezuela due to security concerns. Some airlines have also cited disputes with the Venezuelan government over money that the Venezuelan government alleges is owed to them.
Despite the suspensions of flights by many different airlines, some Venezuelan domestic airlines had been offering flights to Miami. At this point, no commercial flights between the two countries will be permitted to take place.
The move has received a mixed reaction, as some Venezuelans have expressed concern over the impact that the suspension of flights will have on aid. Many people in Venezuela are currently relying on provisions shipped to them from relatives abroad via cargo planes. On the flip side, the DoT made this decision on the advice of the Department of Homeland Security, which cited the threat to the safety and security of passengers, crew members, and airplanes that land in Venezuela.
Laser Airlines has stated that it will continue service to the US by way of layovers in the Dominican Republic. Copa Airlines has made a similar commitment, but with the layovers taking place in Panama City. For the millions of Venezuelans now living abroad, many of which send provisions home aboard cargo planes from the US, the suspension of direct flights will increase their expenses significantly.