Conviasa resumes flights after post-accident grounding

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Venezuela's state owned carrier Conviasa is gradually restarting its domestic flight operations after remaining grounded since 17 September as a consequence of its 13 September fatal ATR 42 crash near Puerto Ordaz.

According to an airline source, the self-imposed grounding has been lifted as planned on 1 October, with the exception of flights operated by its fleet of ATR 42 turboprops.

"We are operating 70% of our routes and frequencies with our Boeing 737-300 and Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft," the source says.

As a result of offering less capacity, Conviasa's domestic flights to Coro and Valera and international flights to Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica "remain cancelled until further notice".

He could not give a date for the ATRs' service re-entry, but says that "until we are sure that the aircraft are safe to fly we will not put them back into operation".

The source also confirms that "Airbus A340 operated flights from Caracas to Buenos Aires, Madrid and Damascus" had not been affected by the grounding.