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  • White House national security adviser Bolton talks about Venezuela outside White House in Washington.

    White House national security adviser Bolton talks about Venezuela outside White House in Washington. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 April 2019

“The (FAA) order comes on a day of an information battle waged between Maduro and Guaido, and although the coup status is uncertain, one thing is clear: taking your aircraft to Venezuela is not a good idea,” OPSGROUP said on its website.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday evening issued an order prohibiting U.S. air operators from flying below 7,900 meters (about 26,000 feet) in Venezuela’s airspace until further notice, citing “increasing political instability and tensions”.

The FAA notice said any air operators currently in Venezuela, which would include private jets, should depart within 48 hours.

The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday made his strongest call yet to the military in order to help him oust President Nicolas Maduro; however,  it appears his coup has failed. 

According to the Reuters News Agency, the American Airlines Group Inc. in March said it was indefinitely suspending its flights to Venezuela.

OPSGROUP, which provides safety guidance to air operators, said options for those choosing to avoid Venezuelan airspace would include routes west via Colombia, or east via Guyana.

“The (FAA) order comes on a day of an information battle waged between Maduro and Guaido, and although the coup status is uncertain, one thing is clear: taking your aircraft to Venezuela is not a good idea,” OPSGROUP said on its website.

Flight tracking service FlightRadar24 on Tuesday evening showed some flights between South America and Europe were crossing Venezuelan airspace, but at altitudes above 26,000 feet.

Early on Tuesday, several dozen armed troops accompanying Guaido clashed with soldiers supporting Maduro at a rally in Caracas, and large anti-government protests in the streets turned violent.

Venezuelans were expected to again take to the streets on Wednesday for what Guaido pledged would be the “largest march” in the country’s history.

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