EFE-Venezuela will reopen commercial flights to and from Panama and the Dominican Republic, suspended in December a few days after an eight-month suspension due to the covid-19 pandemic was lifted, the local aeronautical authoritie reported Monday.
They are crucial routes, as they became the main connection points for Venezuelans amid the collapse of air activity in their country.
"The routes between (...) Venezuela and the brother countries of Panama and the Dominican Republic are opened and the routes of Mexico, Turkey and Bolivia are ratified," announced the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) .
Last November, Venezuela gave the green light to commercial flights to and from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Turkey, and Iran by approving an exception in the ban on air operations in force since March due to covid-19. Later, it progressively added connections with Panama, Russia, and Bolivia.
However, in December, the Venezuelan government again announced the closure of routes to and from Panama and the Dominican Republic, claiming that the measure sought to contain cases of the new coronavirus.
"There have been many cases of flights from abroad, that is why we restrict flights," socialist President Nicolás Maduro justified then.
Before the pandemic, which reached a Venezuela submerged in a serious economic and political crisis, the South American country suffered a massive exodus of airlines due to state debts amounting to $ $3.8 billion dollars according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA
This is due to the lack of foreign exchange to repatriate profits in the framework of a strict exchange control applied since 2003 and made more flexible in recent months.
However, companies such as Air France and Iberia maintained flights to destinations such as Paris or Madrid, while others such as Wingo flew to Bogotá