The International Air Transport Association (IATA), requested this Wednesday, the aviation authorities of Panama and Venezuela to restore urgently the flights between both countries.
The authorities of both governments decided to suspend the flight connections since December 13, 2020.
Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas said that this interruption could not have come at a worse time. Venezuela had very limited international air connectivity even before the COVID
-19 pandemic. The recently restarted flights to and from Panama became a lifesaver for both passengers and cargo.
However, severing that link before the holiday travel season and at a time when the demand for pharmaceuticals needed to fight the pandemic is at its peak will have dire consequences. Travelers' plans will be severely affected, as many will find themselves stranded, while essential cargo cannot be transported or will be massively delayed, Cerdá said in a statement.
The IATA Regional Vice President added that IATA has been cooperating with authorities throughout Latin America to ensure that borders can be reopened under secure conditions for air travel and is willing to help implement globally aligned measures that allow reopening of the air corridor between Panama and Venezuela.
He reiterated that the aviation industry is currently experiencing its greatest crisis as a direct result of the COVID
-19 pandemic. As air service slowly recovers throughout the region, the imposition of any unnecessary restrictions on aviation during the crucial restart phase will delay the economic and social recovery of the countries and peoples of the region.
The Civil Aeronautical Authority of Panama announced on December 13 that the country has been forced to cancel existing flights to Venezuelan airlines, in response to the same measure adopted by their Venezuelan counterpart, until a deal is reached to ensure equal and reciprocal frequency of flights, as corresponds by the current bilateral commercial air agreement.