Avianca will suspend its Venezuela flights from today, ending service abruptly to the crisis-ridden country instead of withdrawing in August as announced yesterday.

The Star Alliance carrier says it was forced to cease flights today due to "operational limitations" that were imposed in the "last hours".

Avianca initially planned to stop flights after 16 August. It was operating to Caracas from both Bogota and Lima.

The airline had cited security considerations when it announced yesterday its intentions to withdraw from Venezuela, which has been rocked by months of anti-government protests and street violence.

Avianca had served Venezuela for more than 60 years, but along with other airlines, had encountered operational challenges in recent years. Venezuela continues to owe foreign carriers billions in unrepatriated revenues, prompting several airlines to end service.

In October 2016, Avianca temporarily suspended its Venezuela flights after a bizarre incident in which a Venezuelan military jet intercepted a Boeing 787 operated by the carrier.

Source: Cirium Dashboard