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Portuguese national flag carrier TAP says it “doesn’t understand” the 90-day suspension of flights to Venezuela that has been applied to it and guarantees that this is a “serious measure” that harms passengers, the company’s official source told Lusa.
“TAP does not understand the reasons for this suspension of the operation to Venezuela for 90 days, since it meets all legal and safety requirements demanded by the authorities of both countries,” the source said.
“This is a serious measure that harms our passengers, and the company has not even had a chance to oppose the measure,” adds the airline’s official source.
The Venezuelan government announced on Monday the suspension for 90 days of TAP’s operations to the country, “for security reasons” following accusations of transporting explosives on a flight from Lisbon.
“Due to the serious irregularities committed on flight TP173, and in accordance with national civil aviation regulations, the operations of the airline TAP are suspended for 90 days,” said Hipólito Abreu, Venezuela’s transport minister, on his Twitter social network account.
Last week, the Venezuelan government accused TAP of violating “international standards” by allegedly allowing the transport of explosives and hiding the identity of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó on a flight to Caracas.
According to the Venezuelan government, Juan Marquez, Guaidó’s uncle who accompanied his nephew on that flight, carried “tactical pocket torches” that concealed “explosive chemicals in the battery compartment.
So Venezuelan authorities believe that TAP, on that flight between Lisbon and Caracas, violated international security standards, allowing explosives, and also hid the identity of Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaidó on the passenger list, although airport security is not the responsibility of the carrier.
The Portuguese government has already asked for an investigation into the veracity of the accusations, saying it has no evidence of irregularities in the flight that transported Marquez and Guaidó.Source: Lusa
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