Venezuela is on the verge of economic collapse and United Airlines has decided enough is enough. Effective July 01, 2017 United is suspending service to Caracas (CCS).
Although corrupt President Nicolás Maduro has promised to prevent any carrier who halts service to Venezuela from ever returning, United has decided that the route is not meeting financial expectations.
Pull up the seat maps for today’s or yesterday’s flight and you’ll see that there is more than enough room for everyone to stretch out. The demand is simply not there (at least on flights into Caracas).
In March I wrote about United’s clever trick to keep crews from long layovers in Caracas. Due to unsafe ground conditions in the Venezuelan capital the daily service from Houston to Caracas makes a stop in Aruba in order to change crews. Perhaps that became a logistical nightmare or perhaps the new overnight departure with additional stop further eroded demand.
Whatever the case, the service comes to a close at the end of this month. Check the schedule beyond July 01st and you will see only COPA-operated options. United has already begun reaching out to affected passengers.
Bummer, I’ve never been to Venezuela. Sadly, as more carriers pull out and the country drifts toward economic collapse it may be years before the once-vibrant nation is ready for tourism again. I hear it is a beautiful nation and look forward to visiting.