Copa Airlines has suspended flying to Venezuela as diplomatic tensions with Panama rise, leaving the South American country even more isolated by air.
The Panama City-based carrier says in a statement that the suspension of flights was enforced by the Venezuelan government as part of its the diplomatic and economic break between the countries, which prohibits all economic, commercial and financial relationships with Panama based entities.
This prohibition will be in place for 90 days, until 4 July, but may be extended by the Venezuelan authorities.
Copa is offering all impacted passengers refunds or the option to change their destination to any other city served by the airline in Central America, the Caribbean, Guyana, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru or Bolivia.
The airline has continued to serve Caracas, Maracaibo and Valencia from Panama City Tocumen even as other carriers have ended service to crisis-ridden Venezuela.
Many airlines exited the Venezuelan market due to restrictions on their ability to repatriate locally generated revenue, or for safety and security concerns.