Last Week, Venezuela said that it would suspend TAP Air Portugal flights to and from Portugal for 90 days.
|TAP Air Portugal suspended from Venezuela operation|
The ban comes after the carrier was accused of allowing opposition leader Juan Guaido’s uncle to bring explosives onto a flight bound for Caracas last week.
What’s the detail?
Juan Guaido was returning home with his uncle after a three-week international tour aimed at ousting President Nicolas Maduro, who is accused of corruption and human rights violations.
Maduro’s government had placed a travel ban on Guaido, which the opposition leader violated back in January by travelling secretly to Colombia.
After the incident TAP Air Portugal has been on suspension from flying to and from Venezuela for a period of three months. Venezuela considered this as a serious violations of Venezuelan Civil Aeronautics regulations.
Guaido’s uncle was arrested upon landing after being accused of trying to bring explosives into Venezuela.
|TAP operates twice weekly flights to Caracas from Lisbon Photo: TAP Air Portugal|
All flights with Tap Air Portugal’s call-sign will now be canceled and passengers refunded or rebooked to other carriers.
What does the ministry has to say?
Tap said that it had complied all legal and safety requirements by authorities and regulators in both Portugal and Venezuela. TAP also wondered why it was suspended.
“This is a serious measure which harms our passengers, without the company even having been given a chance to counter the accusation.” TAP said in a statement.
Portuguese Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva, said it was:
“Completely unfounded and unjustified. I don’t see any kind of justification, either because if TAP’s history in Venezuela, because of how much TAP has already given and because there is no evidence. Any possible evidence to scrutinize has been presented in an objective way, other than just allegations.”
|More than thousand Portuguese reside in Venezuela|
Portugal’s government also said that it would open an investigation into the flag carriers accusation for flights to and from Venezuela.
Portuguese Foreign Minister said that the flight suspension would affect both Portuguese and Venezuelans residing in Caracas. TAP Air Portugal is one of the few international carriers serving the city twice a week.