Air France suspends Venezuela flights ahead of vote

Air France Saturday announced it was suspending flights to crisis-hit Venezuela ahead of a controversial weekend election called by President Nicolas Maduro that has provoked deadly violence and international criticism.

Air France is temporarily halting flights to Venezuela ahead of a controversial weekend election
Air France is temporarily halting flights to Venezuela ahead of a controversial weekend election (AFP)

Air France Saturday announced it was suspending flights to crisis-hit Venezuela ahead of a controversial weekend election called by President Nicolas Maduro that has provoked deadly violence and international criticism.

The carrier said it was monitoring the situation and that flights would be temporarily halted.

"Air France has been forced to suspend its flights to Caracas from Sunday July 30 to Tuesday August 1 inclusive owing to the situation in Venezuela," the airline said in a short statement to AFP.

"The safety of customers and staff is a priority," it added.

A Saturday flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Caracas was still scheduled to depart, an airline spokesman said.

Four months of protests against the unpopular leftist Maduro have already claimed 113 lives, according to prosecutors -- eight of them during a two-day general strike that ended Thursday.