Colombia and Venezuela advance in resuming commercial flights

BOGOTÁ (HPD) — The aeronautical authorities of Colombia and Venezuela have admitted several airlines to resume commercial flights, a measure that has been expected for almost a month when the binational border was reopened.

The Colombian Minister of Transport, Guillermo Reyes, reported on Friday from Twitter that after talking with his Venezuelan counterpart they concluded that the airlines Avianca, Wingo and Satena, in Colombia, and Laser and Conviasa, from Venezuela, are admitted.

“The only thing missing is for the presidents of #Colombia and #Venezuela to give the go-ahead for air operations to begin,” said Reyes, who did not indicate whether there is a scheduled date for the resumption of flights for each of the airlines.

The Colombian official published a letter sent by Juan Manuel Teixeira Díaz, president in charge of the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics of Venezuela, in which he indicates that the Regional Executive Service Airline (Laser Airlines), will provide air transport service on the Maiquetía routes – Bogotá and Maracaibo-Bogotá with seven weekly frequencies.

For his part, the Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, celebrated the announcement from the same social network and said that with the Venezuelan airline Laser “air transport is activated.”

The reactivation of commercial air connectivity has had several setbacks. Days before the reopening of the binational border —which happened on September 26— Colombia did not authorize the first flight that was scheduled with the Venezuelan Consortium of Aeronautical Industries and Air Services (Conviasa). According to Benedetti, it was because that airline is sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department.

Then the first Wingo flight scheduled for October 4 between Bogotá and Caracas was suspended at the request of the Venezuelan government pending “resolving issues between the governments,” according to the airline, which should have suspended ticket sales at that time. .

President Gustavo Petro, the first from the left in the history of Colombia, turned the worn relationship with Venezuela around since his arrival in August by recognizing Nicolás Maduro as the legitimate president of that country, contrary to the position of his predecessor Iván Duque (2018-2022), who from Colombia supported the opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

Since then, the resumption of diplomatic relations, broken between the countries for more than three years, and commercial relations, frozen for seven years due to political tensions, began.

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