Air Canada suspends Venezuela flights over ‘civil unrest’; Venezuela breaks ties with Air Canada

An anti-government protester holds a stone in front of a burning bus during a protest against Nicolas Maduro’s government in San Cristobal, Venezuela March 17, 2014

Air Canada has suspended flights to and from Venezuela, citing concerns over security.

The airline said it would consider resuming operations once the situation in Venezuela had stabilized. It operated three return flights between Toronto and Caracas per week.

Twenty-nine people – from both sides of the political divide – have been killed in six weeks of protests against high inflation, crime and the shortage of many staples in Venezuela.

“Due to ongoing civil unrest in Venezuela, Air Canada can no longer ensure the safety of its operation and has suspended flights to Caracas until further notice,” says the Canadian airline in a statement.

Following this: Venezuela’s government said on Tuesday it was breaking commercial ties with Air Canada a day after the airline suspended flights to Caracas citing the country’s civil unrest.

“Commercial relations with @AirCanada are ended as of this moment,” Hebert Garcia, Venezuela’s minister for air and aquatic transport, said on his Twitter account. “We will make the relevant announcements through the Foreign Ministry.”