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The Allied Pilots Association union that represents 15,000 American Airlines pilots is warning its members not to fly to Venezuela.
The statement comes amid the U.S. State Department reissuing its Level 4 Travel Advisory for Venezuela earlier this week.
“In its Travel Advisory, the U.S. Department of State cites ‘crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens,’ ” according to the association’s note, sent to USA TODAY by communications committee chairman Captain Dennis Tajer. “The Travel Advisory also notes that ‘violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common,’ and recommends that U.S. residents ‘traveling in Venezuela should depart Venezuela.’ “
Additionally, the union’s guidance noted that “the U.S. Embassy in Caracas has suspended operations and has withdrawn diplomatic personnel from Venezuela, and is not providing any consular services.”
“Until further notice, if you are scheduled, assigned, or reassigned a pairing into Venezuela, refuse the assignment by calling your Chief Pilot or IOC Duty Pilot … ,” the note said. “Inform them that you are refusing the assignment in accordance with the direction of the U.S. Department of State. APA will provide follow-on information as soon as it becomes available.”
The notice closes with a succinct reminder: “To reiterate: Do not accept any trips to Venezuela.”
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