September 5, 2016 / 6:47 PM / 2 years ago

Aerolineas Argentina nixes two flights to Venezuela, cites security

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine state-run carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas canceled two flights to Caracas between Sept. 10 and 12 due to security concerns, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

The announcement followed one of the biggest anti-government protests last week against socialist rule in Venezuela in more than a decade.

“Because of calls for new demonstrations and marches in Venezuela we decided to cancel two flights,” Felicitas Cuatrillón, institutional relations manager for Aerolíneas Argentinas told Reuters.

She said the flights were canceled “preventively because there could be disturbances” in order to keep crews safe.

Aerolíneas Argentinas [AERA.UL] was nationalized in 2008 during the government of then President Cristina Fernandez.

New market-friendly management appointed by center-right President Mauricio Macri is working to cut costs.

Several international airlines have stopped flying to Venezuela in recent years because they have not been able to repatriate ticket sales held in local currency.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has imposed tight currency exchange rate controls and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says foreign airlines are owed nearly $4 billion.

Reporting by Miguel Lobianco; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Sandra Maler

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