American Airlines plans more flights to Venezuela in Latin America reshuffle

Key Points
  • American Airlines will add a three-times-a-week flight to Caracas, Venezuela, from Miami in December.
  • The airline slashed service to Venezuela in 2014 in a dispute over trapped funds.
  • The changes are part of a broad rejiggering of the airline's Latin American service.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines is adding flights from Florida to Venezuela at the end of the year, an addition that contrasts with moves made by several international airlines that have halted or reduced service due to economic and political turmoil in the country.

The world's largest airline will offer thrice-weekly service starting Dec. 19 from Miami to Caracas that will fly Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will be served on a single aisle Airbus A319, spokeswoman Laura Masvidal said. The airline already has two daily departures from Miami to Caracas.

The airline added the flights because the Miami-Caracas route "has continued to perform well," Masvidal said, adding that the new flights will bring American's weekly service from Miami to Caracas to 17 flights. The airline also has a daily flight from Miami to Maracaibo, Venezuela, but its service to the country is still far less than the nearly 50 flights a week it used to operate.

American Airlines slashed its service from the U.S. to Venezuela in mid-2014 amid a dispute over repatriation of American's funds. Other airlines took similar measures. Delta Air Lines also cut its service that year and announced the suspension of its remaining Atlanta-to-Caracas flight last year. United Airlines made a similar move.

The change is part of broader rejiggering of American's service to Latin America that it announced on Monday. About 13 percent of American's more than $42 billion in operating revenue last year came from the region, making it the airline's second-biggest after the much larger U.S. domestic market, which generated close to $30 billion in revenue.

American is also adding service to existing routes to Mexico and announced new service like nonstops from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, Argentina; Miami to Cordoba, Argentina; Dallas-Fort Worth to Oaxaca, Mexico; and Philadelphia to Mexico City.

At the same time, American in August will stop flying from Dallas to Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and from Dallas to Rio de Janeiro.

It is also reducing service from New York and Rio de Janeiro and flights to Sao Paulo from Los Angeles and Miami.