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Venezuela retaliates against US questioning of airport security

US carriers will trim flights to Venezuela effective 28 September due to a dispute between US and Venezuelan regulators.

The Venezuela Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) advised US airlines including American Airlines that carriers will be asked to reduce frequencies this month, says an American spokeswoman.

"However, we do not have details on the reductions. We are hopeful that this can be worked out," she notes.

INAC action comes after the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) questioned the safety and security of Venezuelan airports in a travel advisory dated 8 September.

The administration says it "has been unable to assess security measures at international airports in Venezuela that serve as the last point of departure for nonstop flights to the United States,"

American currently offers from Caracas four daily flights to Miami once daily service to San Juan, Puerto Rico twice weekly service to New York John F. Kennedy International airport and one flight per week to Dallas/Fort Worth International airport. Oneworld carrier American also has one daily flight between Maracaibo and Miami.

Delta Air Lines will also be impacted. The SkyTeam alliance member offers seven weekly flights between Atlanta and Caracas, according to Innovata.

Hopefully the two sides will reach an agreeable resolution, a Delta spokesman says.

US DOT is aware of the situation. "As of now, the Venezuelan government has taken no action against US carriers. The department continues to monitor the situation," says an agency spokesman.

A State Department spokesperson says the department is aware of reports regarding the cuts nd will have more details later today.

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