The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday evening issued an order prohibiting “all flight operations in the territory and airspace of Venezuela at altitudes below FL260” until further notice. This order came out due to the “increasing political instability and tensions”.

This order is applied to all U.S. air carriers, commercial operators, and “all persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA,”. Except for pilots flying foreign-registered aircraft or foreign air carriers operating U.S.-registered aircraft. But pilots are allowed to deviate if necessary in case of an emergency that “requires immediate decision and action for the safety of the flight,” 

The FAA also said that any air operators currently in Venezuela, which would include private jets, should depart within 48 hours.

OPSGROUP, which provides safety guidance to air operators, said options for those choosing to avoid Venezuelan airspace would include routes west via Colombia or east via Guyana.

“The (FAA) order comes on a day of an information battle waged between Maduro and Guaido, and although the coup status is uncertain, one thing is clear: taking your aircraft to Venezuela is not a good idea,” OPSGROUP said on its website.

Venezuela is experiencing serious disruptions, with battles between pro- and anti-government forces as President Nicolas Maduro attempts to retain control while opposition leader Juan Guaidó seeks support for his claim to leadership of the country.

Yesterday some airlines like Iberia or DHL cancel their flights to Caracas. The flight of Air France returned to Paris probably because of the political situation.