On Thursday, April 5, the Venezuelan government announced a decision to cut commercial, economic, and financial relations with Panama for 90 days amid a recent diplomatic row between the two countries. Notably, the decision has forced Panamanian Copa Airlines to cancel its flights to and from Venezuela over the coming months.
The Venezuelan government has levied accusations that Panamanian officials - including President Juan Carlos Varela and others in his cabinet - and companies have engaged in money laundering, presenting an "imminent risk" to the Venezuelan financial system. For its part, Panama had declared Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and dozens of other Venezuelan nationals to be at "high risk" for financing terrorism and money laundering.
Copa Airlines was one of the few airlines still serving Venezuela. Airlines including Santa Bárbara Airlines (SBA), American Airlines, Avianca, Iberia, Air France, United Airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, Air Canada, LATAM, and AeroMexico have suspended or reduced services to and from Venezuela in recent years due to currency exchange issues combined with low demand and deteriorating security conditions.
Individuals in or planning travel to Venezuela are advised to monitor developments to the situation, confirm flight reservations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities. Contact your airline for more information.